Thursday, January 29, 2015

Love is in The Air

Have you seen Allison {Cluck Cluck Sew}'s tutorial for making these cute hearts? As soon as I saw her photo on Instagram, I knew I wanted to make something using this pattern. I thought a Valentine's Day pillow was in order. 
The tutorial gives instructions for making the hearts in seven different sizes. I chose to make the five inch version. Using my one little scrap of raspberry pink solid, I added eight more hearts made with Michael Miller Cotton Couture in Cranberry and Kona white as the background.
I sashed each heart with one inch strips of the white and then added a two inch border all around to finish it off.
Now the fun part, how to quilt this pillow? Matchstick quilting was calling my name, so I grabbed the Aurifil raspberry pink thread,  color #2530 {thanks to some helpful comments from my IG buddies}, and started quilting with lines 1/8"-1/4" apart. I seriously do not know how someone has the tenacity and physical stamina to do matchstick quilting on a large quilt,  my shoulders were burning after only 1-2 hours of time spent quilting this pillow. Kudos to my friends that have done this on larger pieces. 
For the backing, I used a little red and white birdie print that lost its selvage long ago. I placed a raspberry pink zipper, covered with a flap to keep it hidden. 
The pillow looks pretty cute sitting on our new cubby table in the dining room, next to one of my favorite photos from our eldest son's wedding. Maybe now that all the boys are married, I should set up a little "love" corner with wedding photos and this pillow would be the perfect addition for the season of Love.
It's also Strawberry season here in Orange County and we are taking full advantage of getting our fill of the delicious fruit.

The finished pillow measures 20" square.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Making a Wallet

I have been wanting to make myself a wallet for some time. I thought I would design my own but when I saw my friend Karen, {@quiltingfairy on Instagram} making them, she shared the name of the pattern with me. I immediately bought the pattern and three frames but then forgot about it over the holidays.
This week I decided to pull some fabrics and whip up this project. It is a well written pattern with very explicate instructions. There are no questions after reading the pattern.
I chose a mixture of Alison Glass fabrics and stitched this up in less than an hour. The Diva Framed Wallet by Sew Many Creations is available on Craftsy and also as a PDF and a paper pattern.

Since it had been a while since I asked Karen about this pattern, I forgot that she suggested to flip the credit card slots so they don't spill out when the wallet is opened. Next Time...note to self.
The frame is a screw in type frame, but the designer suggests adding the use of Gutterman glue to help secure the frame. Even if she didn't suggest it, I was going to glue it in before securing the screws.

It has a zipper pocket for coins.

It also has two hidden pockets and slots for 6 credit cards.  It is lightweight and the perfect size. I think I am really going to like this wallet.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Fit for a Prince

You know how sometimes you start a project and then you fall out of love with it? Sometimes it just doesn't reach the vision you had for it. That was the case with my Virtual Quilting Bee project that I started two year s ago. I think I got too ambitious thinking I would make 4 version of each block, two with prints and two with solids. After about block 8 or 10 I put it aside.

This year I pulled it out and decided to make a few more blocks of my own choosing to add to it. And guess what? I love the way it turned out.

I knew I liked the Prince Charming fabrics by Tula Pink, and the solids I chose to compliment it were just  a mix of favorites and "so not me" colors that they were crazy enough to make this quilt sing.

I quilted it with straight lines a half inch from each seam line of the 8" blocks, both vertically and horizontally and then I added three diagonal lines going through each block, in both directions. I think the quilting is one of my favorite parts of this quilt. The Honey colored thread was a perfect choice for the quilting. It blends in on the yellows and mid-tone colors and doesn't contrast too much on the whites, dark blues and lighter colors. And seriously, those frogs are just too cute. 

You can really see the texture in this photo. I really like the way the mustard yellow compliments all the shades of blue.

To calm the riot of color and pattern on the front of the quilt I used the quiet Nummers print from IKEA on the back and bound it with Sketch in Aqua.

For me, what I thought of as a quilt I would never finish, turned out to be something I am proud of and will happily give as a gift. I have two friends who are expecting babies this spring, now I hope one of them has a boy, because this Prince Charming needs a new home.

Quilt Stats:
Name: Fit for a Prince
Fabrics: Tula Pink Prince Charming, coordinating colors of  Kona cottons, and Pure Elements by Art Gallery in Honey
Backing: Nummers Print from IKEA
Batting: Warm and White
Binding: Sketch in Aqua
Thread: Pieced with Auriil 50 wt. and Quilted by me with Perma Core 40 wt. in Honey.
Finished Size: 45.5" x 61.5"

This is my first finish of the year and the first finish on my 2015 Finish Along list. 
2015 FAL at On the Windy Side

Handmade Birthday Club...On the Receiving End

Last year I was a member of the Handmade Birthday Club. As the year progressed, I shared the gifts I had sent each month to the birthday girls, but I never shared the gifts I received. Here they are all together in one mosaic. Unfortunately, I was in a group where two people flaked out. To be honest, it was quite disappointing, especially since I had sent their gifts on time. I guess it's a good eye opener when signing up for a year long swap to consider that there might be some who do not keep their promises.
I received so many wonderful and thoughtful gifts; how could anyone not love all these beautifully handmade gifts?

Gifts pictured are from:
Tammy {Karamat Sews}
Sarah {Stitching and Bacon}
Karen {@Savinggrc on Instagram}
Sarah {Pheasant Press}
Courtney {Mon Petit Lyons}
Lee {May Chappell}
Rebecca {Sew Pixie}
Diane {From Blank Pages}
Susannah Kate {@Susannahkate_Sews on Instagram}

I also joined in a private birthday swap with Angela, {Cut to Pieces}. I made her a clutch and added some extras.

Birthday gift for Angela

Angela made me this fantastic notions hoop and sent all kinds of extra goodies. I use that vegetable brush almost every day.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

4x5 Bee, the Winter Round

I have joined the winter round of the 4x5 Modern Quilt Bee.  It's been a year since I have been a part of this bee and I thought it was time I collect more blocks for my planned quilt.
These are the blocks I have collected in the two rounds I have previously been involved in the last year or two. I am going to stay with the "colors of the sea" color palette. Blues, greens, aqua and turquoise with a white background.
4x5 bee 2013

Now I need to do some stalking of my partners' chosen colors and plan a block that they will all {hopefully} love.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Bee Blocks a Plenty

I am in three bees this year and so far, the first month out of the gate, I am on time. All blocks have been mailed to their intended owners.

Stephanie, Bee Sewcial bee, wanted blocks influenced by the Chihuly glass display in Seattle. I love the colors she chose. She also asked that the blocks be sent in their raw form, no trimming. I sure hope these work for her quilt.
Improv block


Next is Dianne, Stitch Tease bee, who wanted scrappy trip blocks. Individually, I don't think these blocks are very pretty, but when they get all together they look amazing. There are so many Scrappy Trip quilts in the blogosphere to love
Scrappy trip blocks

Scrappy trip blocks

And finally, Jennifer, Stash Sew-ciety bee, wanted winged square blocks. I just love these blocks and know that Jennifer will have a beautiful quilt when she receives all her amazing blocks.
winged square block

winged square bee block

Sunday, January 18, 2015

A Perfect Sunday

Mr. Romance and I have been trying to plan more outings and get out in the sunshine and enjoy the beautiful area that we call home. This weekend we planned a good Sunday by going to mass on Saturday evening, thus leaving the entire Sunday to ourselves to have a nice day together and still have time to work on some individual projects.
We headed down to Corona del Mar to eat breakfast and then enjoyed the tide pools and walked along the beach. It was a beautiful day, with temperatures in the low 70's {sorry to those freezing in other parts of the country and across the globe}.

When we came home I decided to whip up an infinity scarf with two yards of one of the double gauze prints from Cotton and Steel. This took all of about 10 minutes. I can't wait to wear it and I imagine it will get softer as it is washed. 

With lots of time to spare this afternoon, I basted the Virtual Quilting Bee quilt and will work on getting it finished this week. I think I am going to go for straight line quilting. The quilt itself is so busy, I think that will calm it down a bit.

I hope everyone had a good Sunday.

Friday, January 16, 2015


Our youngest son married his lovely girlfriend on November 14, 2014. They planned a private ceremony on the bluffs of Santa Barbara. 

It was really hard to understand the reasons that they wanted to get married this way. We had our moments of sadness and questions of why they wanted to have a private ceremony, but after seeing the photos and the video and seeing how much they love and respect each other, it really doesn't matter how or where they said their vows. 

We are so very happy for Briana and Kyle and love them for their commitment to each other. We look forward to seeing all the blessings God has planned for these two. 

Seeing the emotional tears of joy and happiness as they read each other their vows was very moving for us. 

These are some of my favorite photos of their special day.

After watching the video {like 100 times}, I feel like I was there and enjoyed every single moment with them. I also see why they thought the private ceremony on the beach was the way to go. It was very romantic and very Kyle and Briana.

I hope you will watch the video and enjoy the beauty of their ceremony. To quote Kyle, "Since ‪#‎butterballbulldog‬ was the only person invited to our wedding, I'd like to share the video with all of you but first I'll sum it up: Briana was stunning, I cried like a little baby, and the officiant called me "Dr. Kyle" which was really weird and I didn't notice until seeing the video. Enjoy"

Briana & Kyle; Goleta, CA from Like a Letter on Vimeo.
We can't wait to see where life's journey will take these two. 

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Real Life Friends

In anticipation of sewing with an Instagram friend, and turning her into a real life friend, I thought it best to make a new ironing board cover. {You know, first impressions and all}
I had this piece of Curious Nature Home Dec weight fabric that I originally bought to make a duffel bag and instead used it to recover my ironing board. With a simple trace around the edge of the ironing board, I then added a few inches to that measurement and cut out the fabric. I turned under the edge 1/2" and sewed a piece of 1/2" elastic, by stretching the elastic and using a big zig zag stitch to sew it to the cover.
It needed a little more securing, so I added another piece of elastic to the front to keep it from slipping off the narrow end.
It works great.
making an ironing board cover

Today, Darci, {@peppiflo on Instagram} came over and we sewed and talked and got to know each other a little more than just IG friends. We had met a few times before but never really spent any time together. Seeing how she only lives a few blocks away from me, I am hoping we can make a regular thing of these sewing days.

Darci started a Posey Patrol quilt. 

I worked on more blocks of my own choosing to add to the Virtual Quilting Bee quilt that I started two years ago. I just need to play with the layout to balance out the color and print placement and I think I can start sewing the blocks together later this week.