Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Quilt Display

I've long admired photos of quilts displayed in a home hanging over the rungs of an old ladder and wanted to do something similar. Two problems, though --- I didn't have an old ladder, and most of the quilts I make are gifted, they're no longer hanging around my house.

Lately I've started making some quilts (and bags) just because, so I had a few starting to pile up. (As it turns out, I did have a few hanging around my house in various places, as well.  Who knew??) Last week, I saw an idea on Facebook (wish I could remember the original source to link back, but I can't) about using part of a baby crib to display quilts. Well it just so happens, I have one of those!

This weekend's project was to organize my younger daughter's room. The space under her bed was not usable because our old crib (not used in over 6 years) was in pieces underneath. The back of the crib serves as my daughter's headboard but I always thought that someday if we re-did her room (new furniture), I would donate the crib to Goodwill. Turns out the kind of crib we had (with the front that slides up and down) is no longer considered "safe" in the US, and she's still using the same headboard. So.... she keeps the back for her headboard, I keep the front for my quilts, and everthing in the middle is purged. She has space under her bed for storage, and I have a display rack for my quilts!
Quilts down the middle, a pillowcase on the bottom and some bags on the sides.  The 2 bags on the right and the bottom quilt were stashed in my craft closet since I can't even remember when.  Right now, this is leaning up against the armoire in my bedroom but I plan to move it to a different spot after a room makeover I'll be doing in the next few weeks.
I saw a different post on Facebook that suggested organizing handbags in your closet by attaching them to shower curtain rings on your closet bar.  I bought a 12-pack of clear curtain rings for about $3.00 and Voila!  Bag hangers!
I know I've blogged about the bottom quilt.  Not sure I've shown photos of the top two or the bag on the left.  Maybe one of these days :-).

~*~ May your day be full of Love and Ladybug Hugs ~*~
Thanks for stopping by!
~ Kat ~

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Hipster Prototype

In about 11 weeks, I'm going to be running another one of those crazy 200 mile relay races (from Chattanooga to Nashville, Tennessee). It's tradition that I make a little "something" for my team mates. In the past it has always been little demin zippered pouches with the race logo on them, but I wanted to try something a little bit (but not too much) different this time. (Here is what the first ones looked like --- don't think I ever blogged about the 2nd batch, but they were way cuter... whoops!)   I thought a small over-the-shoulder hipster bag would be nice, but I couldn't find a pattern or tutorial that was quite what I wanted. What's a sew-er to do? Make my own, of course!

I didn't want to waste any "good" fabric, so I used some home decor weight blah green, which was left over from lining my dining room curtains about 10 years ago. I'm not even sure where the green print came from. I used zippers I didn't love and didn't make the strap adjustable on this one (why waste good hardware on a bag I won't use, right?). I made it up as I went along and only had to rip one seam. Much to my surprise, it came out exactly how I envisioned it. Woo hoo! Or course, that "woo hoo" is followed by a big fat "darn!" becuase now I wish I'd made it prettier. It functions perfectly but it's just to stinkin' ugly! Oh well... things could worse.

It measures 7" tall, is 6" across the bottom, 8" across the top and is 2" deep. It has a fully lined outside zipper pocket (perfect size for my phone), a fully lined main compartment and a dropped-zipper in the top.

On the "real" version, I plan to make the strap adjustable and add an inside pocket. The outside will also be prettier. I can see these with so many color combinations, with embellishments, patchwork... the choices are endless!

I took notes as I went, I just need to get them written up in a little more organized way, so I actually understand what all my chicken scratch means when I am ready to make the next one. Who am I kidding, I'm ready NOW!!!! Alas, the repair shop called to say my Viking is ready for pick-up, so I have to figure out what to do next.
Finish quilting this?
Start quilting this?
(Yup, WIPs live with Legos in my house.... that's how we roll around here!)
Do SOMEthing with these?

Write myself a pattern for this new bag.... make more of these new bags?

Decisions, decisions...

~*~ May your day be full of Love and Ladybug Hugs ~*~

Thanks for stopping by!
~ Kat ~

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Baby Clothes Quilt for Jack

What is it with me and memory quilts? I love saying "yes" when friends ask me to make them, but I can't seem to get my act together to actually finish them for years. Yes, years. Shame on me!
Shannon sent me a box full of her son's baby clothes well over 2 years ago (probably closer to 3). I put them into my craft closet and you know what they say --- out of sight, out of mind. This quilt only took 8 or 10 hours to complete (once I finally got started).... it's getting started I can't seem to get very good at!
The clothes she sent ranged in size from newborn to about 24 months, so the sizes varied greatly.  She also included a few burp clothes (which were great for filling in "blank" spaces) and one itty bitty little bib.  There were t-shirts, sweatshirts, terrycloth, fleece and nylon items.  They all got a layer of fusible interfacing on the back (Pellon lightweight) before I cut them to size.  The size and layout of the quilt was dictated completely by the clothes!
Here are a few of my favorites:
This happy little crab was on the side of some nylon swim trunks.
I saved the Harley Davidson tag from the inside of a little fleece jacket and sewed it in the upper left corner of the gray block.  A cute little 3-D effect, I think.
The center part of this block was a tiny little bib, round at the bottom.  I had to improvise (with pieces from a matching onesie) to bring it up to a block size.
I really wanted to use the Calvin Klein logo from this shirt, but it was in an odd spot to cut out, so I just used the shirt with the buttons, pockets and all.  I sewed the main opening closed (down the middle), but it still looks functional.
Here's another little shirt I left in tact (right).  I was short by one block so I added a "J" (made from the Calvin Klein shirt, above) to a gray square cut from the back of another onesie.
This was from a tiny little swim shirt that went with the itty bitty swim trunks.  So adorable!
I was so excited to have this completed and (finally) in the mail that I didn't take any pictures of the back.  You're not missing much, though... I just used plain black fleece.  I stitched in the ditch on every seam between all the blocks.  I used cotton batting in the middle, because I don't think I could have gotten it through my machine (fleece + thicker batting + sweatshirts in some of the top blocks + interfacing) otherwise.  I sewed the entire thing (piecing and quilting) with my walking foot.  What a difference that made in the assembly!  On all the previous t-shirt quilts I've made, I just used a regular foot for piecing.  Never again --- the walking foot makes a night and day difference!
This little guy measures 54"x32" after washing.

~*~ May your day be full of Love and Ladybug Hugs ~*~
Thanks for stopping by!
~ Kat ~

Friday, August 8, 2014

You're Only Young Once

I spent the month of July in Upstate New York with my family and friends.  It was there, through dear family friends, that I learned Reese's story.  Reese is a beautiful, courageous 13 year old girl.  Reese is battling cancer.  Though her latest surgery results show success (clean margins!), she will be undergoing chemo until at least March of next year.  When my friends asked if I could make her a quilt, I couldn't say no!

I started working as soon as I got home.  I didn't have much to go on.... all I knew was that her favorite colors are blue and purple, and her motto is YOYO -- You're Only Young Once.

I made this up as I went along, going for a bargello-ish style.  Not much went as planned along the way, both in good ways and bad, but I have to say (and I don't say this often), I *LOVE* how this turned out.

The quilt finishes at 55" x 72" and it used 7 yards (!!!!) of fabric for the front.  I bought 14 
half-yard cuts (7 blue, 7 purple) and expected to have strips left, but all those seams ate it right up.  I had enough left to do a scrappy binding, though, so it worked out perfectly in the end.

My original plan was to FMQ this, but my new machine is acting up (again!) so I had to settle for straight line stitch-in-the-ditch with my walking foot on my old Singer.  In hindsight, I think this was the perfect (forced) option.  The back is a solid teal blue.

I managed a little FMQ around the letters, which are adhered with Heat 'n Bond Lite.  My swirls are not perfect but for the first time ever, I'm actually OK with that.  

The color is a bit off in this last photo, but it shows more detail of the FMQ around the letters, from the back of the quilt.  

(I should have fluffed this quilt in the dryer one more time before taking the pictures... it sat in there overnight and I didn't realize how many wrinkles there were from sitting in a ball until I uploaded these photos.  Oh well, live and learn!)

I hope that Reese will love this quilt and will feel the Love and Ladybug Hugs every time she curls up with it.  Praying for her speedy, fully recovery!

~*~ May your day be full of Love and Ladybug Hugs ~*~

Thanks for stopping by!
~ Kat ~

Monday, May 26, 2014

Studio 125 Filmstrip Quilt

This quilt is a year-end gift for my 2nd grade daughter's teacher.  Their classroom theme is a movie studio (Studio 125, their classroom number) so that's how I named the quilt.

I was inspired by this quilt which I found online, but I could not find a pattern so I pretty much made it all up as I went along.  It was nerve wracking to say the least but I really truly love how it turned out.

Back in February, I made up little "kits" and secretly stuck them in each girls' backpack while I was in the classroom helping with a project.  The kits included the fabric, paint, brush and instructions for making a handprint block.  I asked the girls (all girls class, there are 19 of them) to also sign their name in pencil.  Once they were returned to me, I stitched over each signature with 2 strands of DMC floss.

The white blocks were cut down to 7.5" x 9.25".  All the black and white strips were cut at 1.5" each, so they finish at 1" --- lots of little pieces in this quilt!  (Thank goodness for strip piecing!)

The finished quilt measures approx. 60" x 44" after washing. There were 20 frames but only 19 girls, so I used my embroidery machine to write a special message to their teacher.  This is her first year teaching and she is SUCH a doll, I just know she will treasure this gift from all her little girls forever.

"We love you, Ms. DeRosa"
"Studio 125 ~~ 2013-2014"

I wanted a "busy" fabric on the back because I knew I would be quilting in 2 colors (black and pink) and didn't really want the lines to show.  My daughter picked out this print but sadly, there was not enough for the full back.  In hindsight, I wish I had pieced it differently, but I also don't think Ms. DeRosa will spend too much time looking at the back.

There is no quilting on the white handprint blocks, but I did quilt 2 lines inside each black strip (shown below) as well as through the pink sections.

We will present this to my daughter's teacher during their year-end party on June 12.  I'm betting on some tears :-).

~*~ May your day be full of Love and Ladybug Hugs ~*~
Thanks for stopping by!
~ Kat ~

Tuesday, May 20, 2014


Potpourri.... that's what they call the category on Jeopardy! where they throw in all the random, unrelated questions they didn't get to in previous shows, right?  Well, that's what this post will be.... all the random, unrelated things that I've been doing since I last had time to write a post.

Since a picture's worth a thousand words.... 

In early April, I traveled to Atlanta to run another one of those crazy races.  This was my first trail race/run and I LOVED it!  We had a team of 8 and we ran about 150 miles of trails over a 28 hour period (straight.)  The first photo here is me crossing the finish line of my last leg.  We are only supposed to run 3 legs each but I took on a 4th due to an injured runner.  I think I totaled about 18 miles of trails during those 30 hours.  The second photo is my team after our last runner crossed the finish line.  I'm 2nd from the left.

While I was in Atlanta, I received word that my Aunt Cheryl had lost her long battle with cancer.  After flying home, I drove up to Sarasota where we held a memorial service for her on Lido Beach.  This is the memorial we made for her in the sand before watching the sunset over the ocean.

I've been doing some sewing as well.  I may have become slightly obsessed enamored with making zippy pouches the last month or two.  All of these have been given as gifts (many for Mother's Day).  I pretty much make these up as I go along, so the sizes vary.

The two below were for a swap.  I know, bad lighting.  The one on top is the Pleated Wristlet from Michelle Patterns.  The one on the bottom the Triple Zip Pouch (free tutorial) from A Quilter's Table.

I also made my first Sew Together Bag from Sew Demented.  I followed the blog posts for this sew along from The Quilt Barn for extra tips and pictures.  (I highly recommend this if you do make the bag... some of the instructions in the pattern are a little confusing without the extra photos in the sew along posts.)

New shipment of zippers from Zipit on etsy.  LOVE that store!  Great quality, quick shipping and you absolutely can't beat the price.  I got this group of 100 9" zippers (in colors I chose myself) for $42, which included priority mail!

Mother's Day weekend my daughter and I ran a 5k together at Lake Worth Beach.  It was her first 5k and I am SOOOO proud of her!  We do a jog/walk routine and she SMASHED her 45 minute time goal with an official finish of 38:55:0.  I finished at 38:55:5 -- she beat me :-).

I am working on some quilts, all in various stages.  My main priority now is turning these little handprints and the black/white checkers into a year-end gift for my (other) daughter's 2nd grade teacher.  The top is done, just needs to be sandwiched and quilted... but I'll save those picture for another day.

As I was going through my phone looking for pictures for this post, I came across this one.  The big guy is my brother Billy who passed away in January.  The one on the left is my brother Christopher.  This was at Chris' wedding back in 2005.  I miss Billy so much.... every single day.  I will soon be working on some crafty/quilty items for a fundraiser being held in his memory in August (on his birthday).  More on that soon too.

~*~ May your day be full of Love and Ladybug Hugs ~*~

Thanks for stopping by!
~ Kat ~

Friday, March 28, 2014

Purple Pizzaz

I finished "embellishing" the purple brick quilt I made for Paula (my mother-in-law's cousin who is turning 70 next month).  It measures 51" x 66" after washing.  I think she's really going to like this :-).

If you read my last post, you saw that this started out as simple purple bricks.... but that wasn't going to be good enough for the fun, free-spirited Paula!

Bright colors and fun prints were pulled from my stash.
Appliqued peace signs, hippy flowers and hearts were added.
Random, meandering FMQ helped to give it (my favorite) the crinkled up look.

Purple leopard print backing and rainbow colored peace signs on the binding helped bring it all together.  Well, I suppose "together" is a relative term :-).  
My 10 year old daughter is in love with this quilt, yet it was made for a 70 year old woman.  I guess it's true what they say --- you're only as old as you feel!

~*~ May your day be full of Love and Ladybug Hugs ~*~

Thanks for stopping by!
~ Kat ~