More Union Jack flags mean…more Liberty of London fabric!

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Variety is the spice of life, so I am feeling very spicy.  If I had to choose one fabric only to use for the rest of my life?  Well that would be cruel, but I would definitely choose Liberty Tana Lawn.

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Picking the fabrics to combine in each block has been helping curb my innate desire to make sure everything matches perfectly.

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The hardest part of this project is trying to NOT plan ahead.  I want to wait until I have all the blocks to choose the fabric and style of the sashing.  But I’m getting impatient.

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Five blocks a month, until I have a total of…I don’t know yet.  I have not yet even calculated how big I want to make this.

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Seeing each block individually makes me think I want this on my bed.  King size.  At least that will give me a long time to work on it.  I really enjoy working on foundation paper pieced projects.

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The obsessive part of me craves the perfection that can be achieved with paper piecing.  And it is so easy!  I took some pictures while I was working on these blocks.

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Sew, press, cut, add fabric and repeat.  Easy and stunning!

We’ll talk soon, I’m off on an 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.

Girly Christmas quilt for a new baby

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It’s raining babies.  Girl flavored babies.  And so the parade of adorable little baby quilts continues.

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I found the cutest pattern for a big block quilt.  It’s called the Lone Star baby quilt by Amy Smart.  She has an amazing blog, Diary of a Quilter.  This pattern is on the Bernina website here:  http://weallsew.com/2015/07/08/lone-star-baby-quilt-tutorial-part/

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I love the look of a one block quilt.  This one uses 10″ squares, a portion of a layer cake.  I got it in my mind that I wanted to make this quilt for an upcoming baby.  And I decided it should be a Christmas quilt.  A Christmas baby girl quilt.

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Then what to my wondering eyes should appear?  A ten inch stacker by Penny Rose fabrics, Little Joys.  12 prints tied up with a bow.  Throw in four white squares and it’s a quilt.

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Dorito approves.  The fabric has such sweet prints.  Little reindeer, toys, trees, bows.  And there are PINKS in this Christmas collection!  My heart is aflutter.  I ordered some yardage for the border, backing and binding. Or course i got extra of the two pink prints!

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You can tell that this gem goes together quickly.  For me, the tricky part, the challenge, is doing the actual quilting.  I’m getting better at making my quilt sandwiches.

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I included this picture because you can see the quilting pretty well.  I used my walking foot, chose a section, and worked in a “spiral” towards the center of each section.  No measuring or anything, I eyeballed it and drove full speed.  I have only quilted a few things myself.  I can’t see myself ever attempting anything the size of a bed.  I do like how this one worked out.  Practice makes perfect, right?

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This one is going in the mail this week, and will reappear in the state of

Look! Out on the lawn! It’s a…giant batik turtle?

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I don’t think there’s any way to explain why I now have a giant batik turtle.  It does have a purpose other than being adorable – extra seating for the living room.

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The pattern is Dudley by McKenna Ryan, from her Sea Breeze collection.  I flat out refuse to call mine Dudley, because it makes me think of Harry Potter’s tormentor.  My turtle did turn out big and round, so maybe I’ll rethink my refusal of the name Dudley.

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For the head and the top of the flippers I used this awesome batik with turtles on it.  That makes this project extra turtley.

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As a cruel prank, I flipped the turtle over so you can see the tummy and the underside of the flippers.  Yet another cool batik, this one with coral print.  Flippers were flailing.  I flipped it back over.

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The eyeballs are appliqued onto the head.  For added interest, and because I thought this turtle looked tired and/or mysterious, I gave it hooded eyelids.  From certain angles the turtle looks angry.

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This is the turtle shell draped over my sewing machine.  Do not worry – no turtles were harmed to provide this picture.  The shell is approximately 34″ diameter, so awkward doesn’t begin to touch what it was like to make the top shell.  It has darts, which allowed me to make my turtle extra fat.

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The opening I left to stuff this monster is pinned right now.  Since I stuffed it more than recommended, I want to try it out on the floor before I sew it shut.  I still have the option to slim it down, but I want to make sure it will keep a butt off the floor.

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Little Dorito is not quite sure what to think of this fatty.  She finished all her puppy shots, so this was her very first day going out to play in the yard.  She will probably expect giant batik animals every day now.

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This is the face of a very happy little girl.  She loves her new playground.  Now I just have to make sure she doesn’t pee on the turtle.

Still July, so more Christmas!

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Time for a project, stat!  I don’t want to get behind on my Christmas in July projects.  Of which I planned ZERO.

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I don’t have nearly enough table runners.  I’m serious.  So I grabbed a charm pack of Folk Art Holiday by Moda.

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The pattern is from the booklet Angles With Ease 2 by Heather Peterson.  And I got to use my Triangler ruler from Anka’s Treasures.  I cut the remaining charm squares in half, sewed them into a 2-1/2″ strip and used them as the binding.  I am loving my scrappy binding!

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I used my walking foot and improvised the quilting.

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Oh look!  The back of the runner is the infamous Hawaiian print of yore!  Christmas 2012 I made matching outfits for the family out of the red and white.  We rocked that Christmas photo.

DSCN2154A few of us had different colored hair back then.

I got the shots of my new table runner, then someone seemed to need a little photo sesh…

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I’m all about indulging the children.

I actually cut my Liberty fabric! Lo and behold, a dress sprang forth!

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I can’t possibly be the only one who hesitates to cut into beautiful Liberty of London yardage.  But I did buy it to sew it into something.

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I chose a wonderful pattern by Sis Boom, the Lucy Halter Dress.  I am in love with the Sis Boom pattern line for a couple of reasons – they give excellent sizing advice, and they include cutting lines for different cup sizes!  The patterns are also technically well written.  I love that I can fit these to my body type.

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The Tana Lawn fabric by Liberty is absolutely amazing to work with.  It has the softest hand and perfect grain lines.  And it goes well with my hair.  Since we are planning another trip to London, I decided it was okay to use it since I can buy more next time!

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This pose was my rather lame version of the Big Fig Newton.  I put this in here just to see if my mom is reading my blog.  Every photo session from my junior and senior high years has a Big Fig pose in it.  I could usually elicit a “stop that!” and maybe a choice word from my mother.

I was so tickled with this dress that I cut into another chunk of my Liberty lawn.  I’m sure you’re waiting with bated breath to see that one.  Meanwhile, here is a gratuitous puppy picture.

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I made little Miss Dorito a Minion outfit/jammies.  Way too big as you can see.  She wouldn’t move for awhile, and when she did, with her first footsteps she walked right out of it.