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 ~

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Pink Carousel Mini (swap)

I belong to a small swap group that swaps a "something" every 2 months.  Our last swap was a mini quilt, at least 12" on one side.  My swap partner Wanda is in the process of re-decorating / re-organizing her sewing space and plans to use bright pink and white.  She also told me she likes carousel animals.  This is what I made:


It measures about 21" square, dictated by the block size around the focal fabric in the center.  The fabric in the center is from the Carousel Dreams line by Cynthia Coulter for Wilmington Prints.  The fabric on the back is Carousel Dreams Ribbons.  The pink blocks are from my stash (each one is a different fabric).


I found a pattern online called "Carousel" by Fig Tree and Company and thought it would be perfect to go with the theme.  I was too impatient to wait for the pattern to arrive so I started making my own version which is not quite the same, but close enough :-).  I sent the pattern and some extra fabric (from the main front panel) to Wanda along with the mini. 


I shadowed quilted outside and within the blocks, but no quilting on the carousel fabric in the center.  I am struggling my way up the "tension" learning curve on my new machine but all things considered, I'm pretty happy with how this turned out.


In honor of St. Patrick's Day, I also put together this quick little pouch.  Clovers and ladybugs, I think that's a perfect combination.




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

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Paula's Purples

My mother-in-law's cousin (Paula) is turning 70 next month, and she is throwing herself a birthday bash.  Her favorite color is purple and her home is completely decorated in this color --- walls, furniture, everything.  She asked that in lieu of gifts, we make donations to It Gets Better (which we will definitely do), but how could I also not make her a quilt, right?
 
In my last post, I showed a picture of purple rectangles, which have now turned into this quilt top:
 
 
 
The main rectangles measure 9" x 6.5".  I used halves (4.5" x 6.5") on the ends, alternating the smaller piece on the left vs. right for each row.  This meant no seams to match up.  (In fact, I made the entire top without the use of a single pin.  Next to HSTs, pins are my greatest nemesis.)
 
For any other cousin, I would move straight to quilting and binding and call this one complete.  Paula, however, is not any other cousin :-).  Below is the cover of her birthday party invitiation.  That's her (minus her face) on the front.  Yup, she's 70!  When you're as much fun and full of life as Paula, your quilt needs to be more than "just" purple.
 

I've started adding a little more "pizzaz" to the quilt top, using colors, fabrics and techniques I don't typically use.  How much fun I am having with it!!  Quilting is in progress now... you'll have to stay tuned for the big reveal :-).


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

Friday, March 7, 2014

Pre-WIPs

My main WIP right now is a swap gift so I can only share a peek.... It involves HSTs (my nemesis - as evidenced by the far from perfect corners in this photo!), pink, white and some other fun "themes" --- should be able to show the full thing in another week or two. 


Since I can't share the one thing I've actually made progress on, I will share 3 pre-WIPs.  They are ideas, some fabric has been cut and they are in various stages of development, but no sewing has actually happened yet.  Any guesses as to what they will be?  (Hint: None of these are related to each other.)










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

Thanks for stopping by!
~ Kat ~

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Nochella Rose

I mentioned in my last post that I had treated myself to a new sewing machine -- a Husqvarna Viking Eden Rose 250c.  I was so anxious to play with her but I knew there would be a learning curve.  What a change from my old Singer!  I pulled out 3 mini jelly rolls (10 strips each) of Top Drawer's Nochella Droll that I purchased a long time ago "just because" and started sewing strips together on the long sides, mostly just to get the feel of the machine.  I figured even if I didn't like the finished product, I wouldn't be wasting any "good" fabric.


It wasn't until I opened the 3rd roll that I realized it was not the same as the first two.  Two were Nochella Droll Leave and one was Nochella Droll Lace.  Oh well... close enough!  I ended up ordering some yardage for the back and to add a few more strips on the front... and pretty much just sewed until I had something sort of big enough to be called a quilt.

I did a random meander / squiggle with white thread.

It took me a while to figure out the FMQ settings on my machine.  Tension set to 0?  Seriously??  That said.... having the foot sensor, the automatic needle-down setting, feed dog drop switch and larger throat size made for MUCH easier FMQ once I got going.  Now I can focus on my patterns (need lots of work there) rather than wrestling with the quilt and trying not to break the thread.


My apologies to those in the frozen, snowy parts of the country... couldn't help taking a picture of her on the fence near one of the palm trees in my back yard.


I named her Nochella Rose --- Nochella for the fabric and Rose because she's the first quilt on my Eden Rose.  She measures 58"x40" after washing.  This is the first quilt I've ever made "just because" and I'm not sure what I'll do with her yet.  I like the idea of having "spare" quilts to gift or donate when an opportunity arises.  These are not my favorite colors and though it's busy, I still like the way she came together.




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

Thanks for stopping by!
~ Kat ~

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

The Good and the Bad


The last 3 months have been crazy in Kat-land. Lots of good, lots of very bad. I've been sewing (not as much as I'd like) but not been taking a lot of pictures and (obviously) not blogging.

In December, I lost my "adopted" grandmother after a long illness. Growing up, my grandparents lived far away and she lived up the street, so we always considered her our grandma. There's never a good time to lose a loved one but right before Christmas was especially difficult. She was 90 and was sick on and off for several years so this was not a surprise, but it was hard to not be there (in New York) for the funeral.

We did make it to New York for New Year's and had a great (freezing cold and snowy, but great) week with my family (parents, brother, sister, nephew) there. I took a few home-made gifts with me, including this play mat I made for my little nephew, Liam. I didn't take many pictures of the finished quilt, but here is one of Liam enjoying it. It measures 48" x 48".



In late January, my world stopped when I got the call that my dear friend Billy -- who has been my brother's best friend and I've considered another "little" brother for close to 25 years -- was killed in a car accident. Billy was a hulk of a man -- he was 6' 6" tall, weighed 300 pounds and was all heart. He was a police officer, U.S. Navy veteran, and one of my most favorite people in the world. I traveled back to New York for the hardest days of my life -- his funeral services, complete with full police honors. I am still heartbroken and not a day goes by that he is not heavy on my mind.

Billy with each of my daughters and my brother, at their high school senior prom.
 
 
 
This video is called "Final Farewell."  I still cannot watch it without tears or that now-too-familiar "punched in the stomach" feeling.  I know it may seem a little sad to post a video like this on my blog, but it is a true testament to the enormity of our loss.
 
 
In between the very bad there was also good. We adopted two guinea pigs. My older daughter earned her orange belt in karate. My younger daughter found a passion for reading. I completed another one of those crazy, 12-person, 200 mile overnight running relay races (from Miami to Key West, Florida). I treated myself to a new sewing machine (a Husqvarna Viking Eden Rose 250c). I saw Billy Joel in concert. Many more "little things" as well, that remind me life is good.

I would really love to get back in the groove of sewing and blogging and maybe (hopefully) I will... but in the meantime, I leave you with some photos of my last 3 months and hope you are all finding time to stop and enjoy the ladybugs.
 
My girls enjoying the snow in New York at New Year's.
Being Florida girls, snows is a very special treat for them!
 
 
Fooplesauce is on the left and Rootbeer is on the right.
(No, I'm not the one who named them)
 
 
6 of the 12 members of my running relay team after we crossed the finish line in Key West.
It took us close to 38 hours (straight) to complete this 200 mile race.
The temperature never dropped below 80*F or 76% humidity (even in the middle of the night).
 
 
Don't laugh... but I made these Wonder Woman costumes (skirt, arm bands, crowns) for the 11 women on my team.  Our sole man wore a SuperMan shirt.




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

Friday, November 15, 2013

Little Frogs Quilt for Kids


I made this quilt in June 2008, for my daughter Jessica's 2nd birthday.
I called it "Hoppy" Birthday.  (Brilliant, eh?  LOL)
I still wish I'd used that dark purple for the binding, too!


I had lots of frog fabric left in my stash so when my mom told me her church group was making quilts to donate to Quilts for Kids, I decided to pull it out and finally use (most of) it up.  The top has been done for about 6 weeks, I just finally found time to do the quilting and binding last weekend.



I got to practice my FMQ a little bit.  I still need lots of practice!



The back is the same pink with the tiny purple box-shaped dots.
This measures 45" x 50" after washing.


While I really love subtle, girly colors, I need to break myself out of my shell and use some of the bright, colorful fabrics in my stash.  I always tend to do "matchy match" (as my daughter Rachel calls it).  Hoping my next quilt will be much different from this one.


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