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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I swear this is the last travel bag I’m making. Before I leave next Sunday.

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This time I mean it.  I have completed my travel bag journey.  This is the backpack I am using on my grand European tour.

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It is a super-sized version of the Dawn to Dusk backpack pattern by Chris W. Designs.  I left off the decorative straps on the pockets, just too fussy for my taste.  I wanted to let this glorious fabric shine.  It is a cotton voile by Robert Kaufman fabrics.

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This is the water bottle pocket.  Himself pointed out that it would actually hold two water bottles.  Yeah, because you know I’ll carry his water for him.  Not!  Since we are traveling to Britain and Ireland, I have decided to adopt the old custom and refer to the Mr. as Himself.  I shall be Herself.  Thanks, Carolann.

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I redrafted all the pattern pieces except for the front pocket and the straps.  We’ll be traveling for more than a day on the first leg of our journey, so I must have enough room for a book and some fresh undergarments.

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I love this lining fabric, it reminds me of alligator.

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I had made one of these modified backpacks earlier this year.  The colors just were not grabbing me for my travel wardrobe.  I am much happier with this print.

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I am taking the advice of one of my friends, packing a wardrobe comprised of black and white with royal blue as my accent color.  Everything I am bringing plays well together.  This is a tough challenge for me since I am such a color girl.  I want to bring red, and pink, and all the colors of the rainbow.  But only blue is going in that bag with the black and white.

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I embroidered this awesome tree of life design on the front pocket.  The design is from Urban Threads, one of my fave embroidery websites.

With departure less than a week away, I can barely contain my excitement.  Will you miss me?  I’ll be gone almost 5 weeks.   I’m going to do some type of travelogue if you want to come along vicariously.  There will be lots of pubs involved.  Lots.  Probably some blurry photos.  And some castles.

This is the quilt version of lipstick

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My mom taught me a couple of things that have stuck with me over the years.  One is never leave the house without lipstick.  Another is that every quilt should have a label.  So it follows that no quilt should leave the house without a label.

I decided to embroider the label for my quilt.  I entered all the words on my sweet Destiny, but it looked so boring.  Plain and boring, two things I aspire to NOT be.

I think I solved that problem quite well by adding this design by Urban Threads.  Really jazzed up the label, don’t you think?

Be gentle, it’s my first: Mark Twain and all his little friends are ready to go public!

I am entering a quilt in the Kauai Quilt show!

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I’ve never entered a quilt in a show.  I’ve only been quilting for a couple of years, so I guess that’s not surprising.

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I call my quilt “How Did I Get Here?”  It’s like a pictorial representation of the places in the US where I have lived and learned.  How cute is little Mark Twain in the corner of Missouri?  I hope I haven’t seen the end of Mark Twain’s head on my quilts.  That one is going to take a lot of thought.

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I’m pretty sure that embroidering the state of Minnesota is the only opportunity I will have to make a gopher.  Unliess I decide to do a Caddyshack quilt some day.  What the heck would that look like?

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Hawaii is actually the first one I did of the states.  When I started this one, I didn’t have a plan for a quilt, and certainly not a thought of making a quilt for a show.  Everything just snowballed from here.  Or erupted from here.

The designs are all from the 50 States collection by Anita Goodesign.  I love using their designs; so detailed and perfect.  Each state took me a full day to embroider.  And I have half of a Missouri sitting around somewhere.

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These small state outlines are from Urban Threads, another awesome source for machine embroidery designs.

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I listed all the most important places in my life using the lettering in my Destiny.  It’s hard to tell in this photo, the thread is a variegated blue/white.

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I like my little appliqué cornerstones.  There are two Hawaii’s on the bottom.

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The gorgeous stars and stripes are from another Anita Goodesign set called Free Motion Frenzy.  Gotta love anything with the name Frenzy.

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I just had to use this red and white Hawaiian print on the back.  And look at that adorable blue and white check I found for the binding!

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I have to finish sewing the hanger thingie on the back, and I want to make a quilt label for it.  No pressure, it’s due tomorrow at 10am.

What do you think of my first show quilt?  I don’t have any expectations.  I am just thrilled to have put together something that means so much to me.  And I think it’s cute.

Bigger, better, faster, stronger. And monogrammed with a giant C.

When last we spoke, I was contemplating the shortcoming of my gorgeous Dawn to Dusk backpack.  Just one shortcoming.  It wasn’t big enough for my laptop.

I spent the weekend drafting a larger version.  Lots of pieces to this baby, and most of them needed to be resized.  I added to all three dimensions; length, width, and height.

One of the hardest things about making a new version is the fabric choice.  I have to admit, I am in love with that Philip Jacobs Japanese Chrysanthemum fabric I used for the first one.  The good news is that I scored a gorgeous Amy Butler fabric at one of my local enablers.

I seem to spend lots of my time lately disproving my own operational tactics.  I really don’t like to make the same thing twice.  But here I go again.

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I decided it needed something.  Like a gigantic monogram.  Lucky me, my first and last names start with the same letter.  Then I went to the Urban Threads website.  They have the coolest, most unusual embroidery designs I have found.  And they are having a sale right now on alphabets!  So I bought a massive letter.

I did not want the monogram to be glaringly obvious, which is kinda counterintuitive when you are adding a humongous letter to your project.  I picked brighter versions of the colors that are in the fabric, so that it could be seen but would not overwhelm the gorgeous textile.

BTW, I also had to watch the Superbowl this weekend.  Well, at least the ads and the halftime show.  Katy Perry was awesome, especially riding in on the giant metal tiger.  With guys in black bodysuits moving the legs.  Of the tiger, not Katy Perry.  And the little lost Budweiser dog…let’s just say, tears were shed.

Now go make something pretty!

Should you wear an embroidered shirt if you’re under 80?

I knew there had to be a way.

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Not your grandmother’s shirt, is it?  I found this awesome design on http://www.urbanthreads.com  Urban Threads has the coolest embroidery designs I’ve found on the web.  I am obsessed, and I’m even going to shove my wares onto my daughter and my niece.  Heh heh heh, they’re not expecting this, so don’t tell them.

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Obviously I need some practice on my selfie-taking.  And I should probably clean that mirror.  But my mom will be proud, because at least I put on lipstick before I took the picture.

BIG shout out to my new machine, a Babylock Destiny.  I’m in love, and I don’t care who knows it.  Some day I might get bored watching it do it’s magic.  But I’m guessing that will be in the distant future.

Stay crafty, my friends.