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 ~

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


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 ~