Hawaiian quilt love ❤️

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Let the celebration begin, the Hawaiian quilt is complete and on the bed!

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Picture, if you will, my awkward self dancing an Irish jig.  Strike that.  An awkward hula.

Here I am looking Hawaiian, hula performance October 2014
Here I am looking Hawaiian, hula performance October 2014

I am truly and utterly excited to debut my Hawaiian quilt.

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So if you are new to my party, each quilt block is made in a different batik fabric. The embroidery designs are by Anita Goodesign, from their Hawaiian Quilt collection.  Each block is comprised of four identical machine embroidered sections.  Each section took about three hours or so to make.  I’m tired thinking about it.

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A terrific embroidery design by Urban Threads ( urbanthreads.com ) was the basis for my quilt label.  I added text to document all the important information about my quilt.  Like the fact that it took me forever.

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Did I mention that my bed is a king size?  I started the blocks and refused to measure my bed to see how many I needed.  When I had finished 20 blocks, I laid them on the bed to see how close I might actually be from a quilt.  That was when I decided to use plain white borders.  But the borders had to be special, to be quilted so they would match the pizzaz of the quilt itself.

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This is when you call in the big guns.  Natalia Bonner, author and quilter extraordinaire, did a great job on this quilt.  I said I like bubbles, and feathers, and lines…oh my!  Check out more of Natalia’s amazing work on her blog Piece N Quilt ( pieceandquilt.com )

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One dilemma of a king size quilt is how to wrangle it to sew on the binding.   Let’s just say that it took a long time and some arm strength to get the binding on this puppy.  I draped it across my cutting table AND a sofa, repositioning it after every few feet.

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It was a trial by fire for my new machine, a Pfaff Quilt Expression 4.2.  I chose it mainly for the built-in walking foot.  Are you ready, foot?  Start walking!  (Short break while I dance the pony and sing “These boots are made for walkin!”)

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I’m elbow deep into another embroidered quilt, this one for Christmas.  Hey, it’s only November 2nd…

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Halloween is coming, time to decorate the bathroom!

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Our hands will be the first at our house to celebrate Halloween this year.

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I happened upon some orange hand towels in a store last week.  They had black also, so you know they called out to me.  “Come,” they said, “embroider us!”  So I did.  I embroidered them good.

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I think they got ahold of our little fatty precious kitty as a model for this one.  Love me some black kitties.

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Frankenstein and his lovely Bride got the orange makeover.  I think it suits them.

I have so many projects that I am working on, I can’t quite explain how I got sidetracked by Halloween hand towels.  Maybe it’s because one of the projects is locating a gift that I made and then lost in my sewing room. Or more likely, because I need to clean up my sewing room.

Nah, I just needed Halloween hand towels.  That’s my story and I’m stickin’ to it.

A weekend cornucopia: little boy gifts, a quilt top finish, and we’re off to the races on the Farmer’s Wife quilt!

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I got a birth announcement this week.  I love it, because it gives me a good excuse to hit up my sewing room and come up with something new and different.  It’s been a couple of weeks since I’ve embroidered…

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These adorable trucks are in a set by Anita Goodesign, Baby Construction.  Along with cute applique designs, they have these made-in-the-hoop softies.  Ooohhh, I can give the baby his first trucks!

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I took some photos in my sewing room.  Not good enough.  I knew they needed to be photographed at a work site.  Now that’s more like it.

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The new little tot has two older brothers, so I put his name on his toys.  These were fun to make and turned out so cute.  Anita Goodesign does a great job on these in-the-hoop projects.

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Big brothers like to get gifts, too.  I decided to stick with the construction theme and make pillow cases for the two older boys.  I was at my local shop on Friday woking on the Million Pillowcase Challenge, so pillow cases were on my mind.  And I figured that everybody like to have their name on things.  Especially with a house full of brothers.

If you are hearing a grinding noise now, not to worry.  It’s just the sound of me switching gears.

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I have finished my Downton Abbey Christmas quilt top!  It looks very elegant, if I do say so myself.  I’ll figure out the backing, then off to the quilter.  And anytime I mention Downton Abbey, I have to include a picture of me at Downton.

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More grinding of gears here.

The Farmer’s Wife 1930’s Sampler Quilt sew-along has begun!  We got a preview of the first block, and here’s mine.

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Loving the brights.  Mine will have quite the variety of colors.  Is anyone else riding along for this adventure?

The Irish festival in my sewing room

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I decided to host an Irish festival in my sewing room.  Ireland is part of the British Isles after all, so I am being true to my ongoing Anglophile tendencies.  I didn’t really invite anyone, but I’m okay with my one-person celebration.

My new Irish quilt took a turn for the smaller.  I needed to come up with a thank you gift for they-who-shall-not-be-named.  So I diverted some quilt blocks into a table runner.

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Who doesn’t love a great little tree of life?  I used three colors of gold thread to add depth.  The trick was using green and gold and not having this look like a Packers tribute.  (Boo, Packers!)

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The Eternal Life block has the same elements of a claddagh ring – crown for loyalty, hands for friendship, heart for love.  The designs are new this month from Anita Goodesign.

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There’s a little bit of the backing shown here.  This green swirly batik is one of my favorites.

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I’ve got to figure out a better way to photograph a table runner.  I tried getting all artsy-fartsy and doing a perspective shot, but you’ll notice it’s not in here.

This one is the money shot anyway.  My little fatty fatty two-by-four Tippy is modeling his favorite use for a table runner.

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Tippy – one.  Artsy-fartsy photographs – zero.  Game, set, match.

Tiny little dresses: a quilt for a new baby girl

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Somebody I know is having a baby.  A little girl-flavored baby.  How excited do you think I was when I found out I could make a girly quilt?

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I went straight to my Anita Goodesign collection of embroidery designs.  I bought the Memory Quilt collection in anticipation of somebody I know expecting a girl.  Thrilled that the opportunity came so soon.  This sweet little orange number was my first block.

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I just happened to have a fat quarter bundle of Scrumptious by Moda.  What great colors, girlish and yet unexptected.  Not all parents are into the soft pastels, so I wanted something colorful and different.

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The daddy-to-be is the son of my bff.  I just can’t see that formerly rough and tumble boy carrying around a pastel clad little princess.  I’m sure it will happen, but I think he will fight it.

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Red shoes?  Yes, please.

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I sure remember why I love fat quarter bundles (and jelly rolls, and layer cakes…)  What fun to mix up the colors and prints.  Even if you have a moment where your creativity abandons you, the fabric just leaps right in and makes it all perfect!

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I love the variety of dresses in the Anita set.  The cute little dresses are all so unique.

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It’s a tiny little nightgown!  So practical for tiny babies, right?  But perfect on a quilt.

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And that sweet little bonnet?  Screaming out for some chubby little cheeks.

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This maybe my favorite of the little dresses.  Then again, I change my mind every time I look at the pictures.

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I decided to do a scrappy look for sashing around each of the blocks.  It just makes me smile to look at it – the fabrics are all so cute I didn’t want to favor any one.

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Does that binding look a little familiar?  That is one of the bias tapes I brought back from Dublin, Ireland.  I was so tickled with how sweet it looks with the quilt.

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Another nod to the brilliance of collecting fabric, the aqua with yellow bows is a Cynthia Rowley fabric from my collection.

I knew the quilt needed a special tag, so with a lot of pondering, a cup of coffee, and a little romp with Dorito later, I came up with this.

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I figured I should change the names to protect the innocent.  I sent this off to the parents-to-be, and by the time I publish this post it will be in their hands.

Just in case you were wondering about that awkward “cow cookie” phrase…  When almost-daddy was a baby, I worked in a bakery.  We gave cookies to all the children that came into the store.  He couldn’t say Carole, so when he would come into the store and see me at the end of the isle, he would yell “Cow cookie!”

I can’t wait to hear what they think of their new quilt!

Hawaiian quilt blocks are taking over the house!

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That’s a good thing, right?  I’m working on one more block, then I will have enough beautiful blocks for the quilt top!

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Last time I spread the blocks across my bed, I looked to see what colors were missing or needed more presence.

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Guess you can tell that I was feeling blue.

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I also only had one fuchsia block, the flowers, not the color.

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I also had to throw in some in which I just liked the fabric, because, well, that’s how we quilters roll.

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And one more pineapple.  These aren’t ripe yet.

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Anybody else out there looking forward to an actual quilt coming out of these blocks?  Besides you, Mr., I know you are impatient.

When in doubt, accessorize! Accessories for the whimsical traveller.

Travel accessories for the crazed sewist.
Travel accessories for the crazed sewist.

There is so much prep time for a big trip.  I’ve been plotting and planning, piling and packing.  And I think everything is ready.  So I decided I needed some new travel accessories.

Leather bag tag, Anita Goodesign embroidery design.
Leather bag tag, Anita Goodesign embroidery design.

Did you know that you can embroider on leather?  Well you can.  I just happened to have this cute leather bag tag sitting about.  Nothing within my reach is safe from the Destiny.  I embroidered my initial on the flap.  At first, I couldn’t decide whether to embroider the initial for my first name or my last.  I hope I chose wisely.

Camera case in batik alligator print.  Custom made to fit my new camera.  Soft and stable for padding, long zipper, detachable wrist strap.
Camera case in batik alligator print. Custom made to fit my new camera. Soft and stable for padding, long zipper, detachable wrist strap.

I’ve been practicing with my new camera for the trip.  So of course the camera needed a cute little case.  Matches the lining of my backpack.  Boom.

Necessary Clutch Wallet pattern by Emmaline bags.  That beautiful Michael Miller fabric with a batik lining.
Necessary Clutch Wallet pattern by Emmaline bags. That beautiful Robert Kaufman fabric with a batik lining.

My new wallet is so classy.  I wanted to make sure it would coordinate with my mix-and-match outfits.  Now I can carry it as a clutch no matter what I wear.  Yep, same fabric as the backpack.  No worries, I won’t hold them up next to each other.

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"I never sleep on planes" eye mask.  Anita Goodesign embroidery.  Gray poly satin fabric, black lace elastic.
“I never sleep on planes” eye mask. Anita Goodesign embroidery. Gray poly satin fabric, black lace elastic.

If you’ve learned anything whatsoever about me, you know that this is my favorite travel accessory by far.  My special sleep mask.  I plan on wearing it on those redeye flights.  Although no one will know if I have red eyes.  Maybe I’ll even get bonus points for creeping out some people on the flights.  I might even wear it backwards when I get up to use the restroom.

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