Monthly Archives: November 2013

A Little Different…

My parents are both very active in the St Vincent DePaul Society in Colorado.  Their dedication to helping people has been inspiring.  Last summer I gave them about a dozen quilts to pass along to people in need.  Two of my favorite recipients have been a young girl and a woman with MS.

The quilt with stripes now belongs to the young girl.  I loved making this quilt because I used close to a 100 different dot fabrics.  It is colorful and fun.  The quilt with the purple elephants now belongs to the woman with MS.  This quilt was really fun to make because of the story behind it.  The inspiration for it came from some saris that my friend’s mother brought here from India.  She wore the saris for years and wanted to know if I could repurpose them into a quilt.  Well the weaves/fabric of the saris were so beautiful I couldn’t bring myself to cut into them.  Instead I tried to copy the pattern of the weave from one of them and turn it into a quilt.  I added in the elephants because it seemed like it needed something fun in it.



Last weekend, my Mom, my daughter and I worked on another quilt for our local St Vincent DePaul Society.  I made this quilt from some leftover parts I had in my studio.  The pinwheels are from a quilt I made for my Aunt and the red border came from leftover strata pieces.  We decided to “tie” the quilt and had a lot of fun doing that.  We learned it is much easier to get the needle thru the areas that did not have seams…seems obvious, but I wanted the ties to be in the center of the pinwheels 🙂  Talk about the need for strong thumbs and fingers!!

Here is our finished project – it is officially waiting for a home now!




Work in Progress – Bali Pops and Sailboats

I love the assorted shades of blue that came in my “Bali Pop” roll.  All the different blues reminded me of the water, so of course sailboats needed to be a part of this project as well.

I have the center area finished, but now I need to figure out what comes next.  Definitely time to go look at other people’s quilts for some ideas and inspiration 🙂



The Monster House

The Monster House is quite silly.  I had this really fun monster fabric that I wanted to use, so making a big house for the monsters seemed like the logical choice.  Once I had their house put together I decided it looked too boring, so I chopped it up and put it back together so that it looked like it got blown up.  Then I decided to make a bunch of the goofiest houses I could come up with to go with it.  The end result is a very silly quilt 🙂

Sondra, who does the quilting for me, added her bit of silliness as well.  She quilted in the words Ka-Boom over the house which I don’t think you can see in the picture, but it is pretty funny when you look at it in person.



The “Retro” Block – Kevin’s Red One and the Purple One

Camille Roskelley’s “Retro” block was definitely a lot of fun to make.  In fact I liked it so much that I made two quilts with that block.  I thought it would be fun to try the quilt in purple and orange.  Because the  purple and orange were so strong in color, I added the white blocks in the middle to help break it up a bit.  As I was putting this quilt together, I thought that using a red dot and plain white would look really cool too.  So after I finished the first quilt, I jumped right into the second one.  I chose six other dot fabrics and started cutting.  Both quilts came together quickly and I like how they make such a neat pattern.  I am looking forward to getting these quilted 🙂  They always look so much better when they have been quilted and bound!

As I spread the red one out on my couch to take a look, my puppy Kevin immediately jumped up on it.  He loves my quilts – tee-hee!


Here is the purple one.  Mike and Erica thought it looked very Halloween-ish!



Here is the red dot quilt.  I ran out of the red dot fabric toward the end and had to substitute another dot fabric in.  I actually like how it turned out.  It gives the quilt a little burst of energy.



And my two faithful companions…






Work in Progress Wednesday!

I have been having a blast working on a simple and fun block called “Retro”.  The block pattern is from a book by Camille Roskelley called Simply Retro.  I really love her patterns –  they all look so clean and crisp.  Her blocks are also very straight-forward so you can just jump right into them without having to read lots of directions.  I’m a big fan of simple 🙂

Here are the parts to the one I am working on now.  I have to make 6 more of the blocks and then I can start sewing them all together.  I can’t wait to see how it turns out!!


Repurposed Fabrics from London

My husband spent some time in London on a 3 month work assignment.  He didn’t really know anyone there so on the weekends he would go shopping.  He doesn’t like to shop for himself so he would shop for goodies for my daughter and I.  How cool is that?  Well it gets even better – he went fabric shopping for me.  (I am one lucky lady!)

He found that he really liked a place called the Liberty House.  While on a fabric hunt in this shop, he discovered these beautifully packaged rolls of repurposed fabric.  The woman who put these rolls together had salvaged the fabric, cleaned and cut them, and then assembled them into these lovely collections.  The collection of greens, blues and aquas was his favorite.  I get a kick out of wondering where these fabrics came from, who wore them, what were they used for, and did the original owners ever think that someone in San Francisco would turn them into a quilt…

One of the best things about the repurposed fabrics is how soft they are.  They felt so nice to work with.  So in keeping with the soft theme, I used a minky fabric for the back.  Talk about nice and snuggly 🙂

Here is the quilt that I made from those fabrics.  I used the entire collection for the quilt, there were no leftover bits at all.  The only thing I added from my stash was the aqua/green border and binding.



And a close-up…   My friend Sondra does all of the quilting for me – she is awesome!  I love her hoops pattern 🙂


Sailboat Quilt

I think I have made at least a dozen sailboat quilts.  Whenever I am not sure what to make, I usually just start making sailboats.  I always have a little pile of boats sitting around at any given point in time.  This is my most recent sailboat quilt 🙂



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Simple Steps for Making a Mug Rug

There are many ways to make a mug rug – here is one way.


Cut two 9″ x 7″ pieces of batting.  I use one layer of Insul-Bright and one layer of regular cotton batting.  However, two layers of cotton batting would work too.


Take your center piece of fabric and place it in the middle of your rectangle.  No need to pin anything because the fabric kind of sticks to the cotton batting.


Sew a line across the top and the bottom.


Then take your first scrap and sew it across the right side of your center piece.


Finger press the piece open.  Sew vertical lines across this piece.  This is the quilt-as-you-go method.


You will build your scraps clockwise around the center piece, also known as a log cabin pattern.  After each piece is sewn on, finger press it open and sew lines back and forth across that scrap.


Add more scraps – going clockwise.  So basically you will sew a scrap down, finger press it open, sew a few lines across it, then rotate your piece and add another scrap.  You’ll notice that you will have both horizontal lines and vertical lines as you go.


Don’t worry if the outside pieces hang over the edge.  They get trimmed off later.


The entire rectangle is all covered in fabric.


Once your cotton batting 9″ x 7″ piece is completely covered in fabric, you’ll see all that extra fabric.  All you have to do is trim away the extra fabric so that your piece measures 9″ x 7″ again.


Next cut a 9″ x 7″ piece of fabric you want to use as your back.  Pin it to your front piece around the edges and then sew it together by choosing a few places to stitch-in-the-ditch (sewing in an existing seam).


Next you’ll round off the corners.  I used a 4″ circle template, but a small bowl or mug will also work.


Then it is time for the binding.  Binding is not my strong suit!  🙂

Cut a 2 1/2″ piece of fabric – approximately 36″ long.  Fold it in half and then start sewing it around the edge of your piece.  The curves are a little tricky, but just keep your edges matched up.  Also, I like to start the binding on the back of the piece first.


Once your binding is finished on the back, flip it over and sew down the binding on the front.  Since I am not the best binding person, I try to use a thread that blends in with the binding fabric so that you are less likely to see it 🙂


And then TA-DAH…. you have your mug rug!!

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