Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Hexie Heart Quilt Update

First things first.... last week I was able to deliver (in person) the Phoenix Quilt to my friend Phoenix, in the city of Phoenix.  She loved it so much that we got wrapped up in looking at it and talking about it and this is the only photo I took.  Whoops!

While I was in Phoenix, I made my first trip to Hobby Lobby!!  We don't have any near me so this was a special treat.  After spending close to 2 hours in the store (helping my friend pick fabric), I was quite surprised to get out of there without having to refinance my house.  To be fair, I probably could have spent my kids' entire college fund pretty easily (there is SO.  MUCH.  STUFF. in there!) but alas, I had a weight limit to keep in mind for my flight back home 

"Dot" traveled with me and I have photos of her all over Phoenix, on the plane, at the office, etc.  My kids love seeing these photos (I text them to my husband while I'm away) and when I get home, I always write them a story (with photos) about Dot's trip.

When I got back home, I was able to finish assembling my hexagon heart and got it basted together, ready for quilting.  This will be a Valentine's Day gift for my 6-year-old (Jessica).  She has seen me working on it and I know she loves it, but she doesn't know (yet) that it's for her.  I think she will be very happy!

I'll also be making a quilt for my 9-year-old (Rachel).  She is strangely obsessed with mustaches these days. I ordered this fabric to make her a mustache quilt like this one or this one, but I was disappointed that it is actually "natural white" and not "snow white."  (I bought it on eBay and it just said "white."  Apparently, this is as white as it comes.)  It's certainly not the end of the world, but it just wasn't what was in my head so I'm rethinking this being the focus fabric of the quilt.

While I was at Hobby Lobby, I found this cute owl fabric, which may replace the mustaches in my quilt plan for Rachel.  (She loves owls, too.)  I'm still undecided but I think I'll have a lot of great (and fun) color options with these little guys.

I'll leave you with one more photo, this is Phoenix and me (and Dot) after a fun night of bar/restaurant hopping at the hotel where I was staying.  Not well lit, I know.... but still one of my favorite photos from my trip.

~*~ May your day be full of Love and Ladybug Hugs ~*~

Thanks for stopping by!
~ Kat ~

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Phoenix - Finished

At long last, Phoenix (the quilt) is complete!  On Sunday I will deliver it in person to Phoenix (my friend) in Phoenix (the city).

It's already packed and I didn't measure it first.... whoops!  But it's about 6 feet long, not sure about the width.

I actually had *fun* doing the FMQ on this, which I'm not sure I've ever said before.  A better thread an a 100/80 needle made all the difference.  I can't wait to piece my next top, just so I can try more FMQ.

And now for about a million pictures..... 

The front - she wanted black and white

The back - I thought she needed some color :-)

The borders

The middle

Petals!  (Maybe I'll try to add some flowers next time)

FMQ on the back, in bright sun

The sun was a wee bit bright when I took this photo

No quilt is complete without ladybugs!

She's a helicopter pilot :-)

~*~ May your day be full of Love and Ladybug Hugs ~*~

Thanks for stopping by! 
~ Kat ~

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

OMG, it's FMQ!

I finally finished the back for the Phoenix quilt.  Nothing like a deadline to get a girl moving!

Not only is the back done, but it is basted and almost completely quilted.  This has to be bound, washed and dried before Thursday night (if I plan to deliver it in person) so I was going easy on the FMQ.... until I got to the part where it was time to make the binding.  I so don't like that part.  I decided to get brave and try a little bit of (very) basic "design" in one of the borders.  (My standard "FMQ" -- if you can even call it that -- is a very wide meander that looks pretty much like seaweed.)

Can you see those petal looking things in the wide black border?  I'm so proud!!  LOL

Some days it's the little things!

~*~ May your day be full of Love and Ladybug Hugs ~*~

Thanks for stopping by!
~ Kat ~

Friday, January 11, 2013

Half My Heart

No progress at all this week on the back for my Phoenix quilt, but I did finish making the lazy hexagons and I let my older daughter lay them out for me.  I always second-guess myself when I try to do a "random but not clumped" layout but for some reason when I let her do it, I'm always happy to just use whatever she comes up with.

Here's her layout.  There are 2 of each fabric, so this will be an I Spy quilt and a matching game at the same time.  (These photos don't look so dark on my iPad.... strange....)

I've got a little more than half of them stitched together, just 3 more columns to go.

I bought the fabric this will be appliqued onto.  It will be bigger in width than length if I keep the heart upright like this, so I think I'll add my younger daughter's name underneath it, using the same "ragged edge underneath applique" style (or whatever it's called) from my Angels with Flashlights quilt.

~*~ May your day be full of Love and Ladybug Hugs ~*~

Thanks for stopping by!
~ Kat ~

Monday, January 7, 2013


Inspiration never really struck for the backing of the black and white quilt for my friend Phoenix, but the clock did.  Looks like I may be traveling to Phoenix (the city) for work in less than 2 weeks, where I'd love to deliver this quilt to Phoenix (my friend) in person.

I didn't want to spend a lot of time doing math and measurements, so I decided I'd just start piecing things together until it finally got big enough.  To see what "big enough" meant, I laid the quilt top on my tile floor and drew around the outline (directly on the tile, but not the grout) with a purple marker.  This way, I can just add a piece, lay it down, check the size, add some more, etc.

Can you see the purple line?
It's most visible across the very bottom of the photo then up the left side.

I did this before my 6 year old woke up this morning.  When she came downstairs and saw it, she looked at me in panic.  

"Mom, someone drew on the floor with a marker!!"

"That was me, Jess."

(15 second pause while she processed this, looking back and forth between me and the floor in disbelief.... Mom?  Drawing on the floor?)

"Oh mom...." she said slowly, "I really, really hope you used a washable marker!"

Priceless!  :-)

~*~ May your day be full of Love and Ladybug Hugs ~*~

Thanks for stopping by!
~ Kat ~

Friday, January 4, 2013

Lazy "I Spy" Hexagons

A few things from my "I want to try" list have (for a while now) included:
  1. Some larger-than-1"-hexagons with novelty print fabric from my stash 
  2. An "I Spy" quilt of some sort, using 2 (not just 1) of each print to make it a matching game 
  3. There are about 50 more things on my real list, but only those 2 matter for this post :-)

Over the holidays I purchased this hexagon ruler / template (with a 50% of coupon, of course), to be used "someday" with item #1 on the list above:

Yesterday I saw the cutest hexagon pillow over on Heidi's blog (Fabric Mutt) and knew I had to try a version of it.  (Go take a look at hers, I'll wait!)

I decided to try something similar to make a Valentine's Day gift for my younger daughter, incorporating the 2 things I listed above.  Here's what (I hope) mine will look like and it will (hopefully) somehow end up as a quilt:

My hexagons will be 5.5" tall (top to bottom).  They'll measure 3.25" on a diagonal side.  I'm not positive the dimensions at the bottom of this pattern are correct... my math has been known to fool me before, but good enough for now!

I didn't have any paper hexagons big enough (I only have 1" shapes) so I decided to try something else, to see if I could make them without the individual paper templates.  This might be a real thing with a real name, but I call mine "Lazy Hexagons." 

First, I traced the hexagon onto a piece of thin cardboard and cut it out.  (This piece came in a calendar, but you could use anything that does not have plastic coating on it.  Thin is best, you don't want corrugated or anything too thick.  You could probably use card stock.

Next, I laid my template on a piece of fabric (fabric right side down) and very unscientifically cut out around the shape, leaving about 1" on each flat side. 

One at a time, I folded over a side and pressed it down, with the cardboard as my guide.  I worked my way around the entire piece.

Here's how it looks once all sides are pressed in.

I carefully removed the cardboard and gave the back another good press.

Flipped it over and gave another good press to the front.
My little one just adores monkeys.  Aren't these little guys sweet?

Repeated the steps above for a second monkey hexagon.

And then a pair of pretty princesses.

I pulled more fabric from my stash for the rest of the hexies.  I mis-counted and I'm 1 fabric short in this photo (lots more to choose from in my stash, though).  I'm going to wait until all of these are made, lay them out and see if any color seems under-represented before deciding what the final fabric (pair of hexies) will be.

For the directional or larger prints, I plan to use the clear acrylic template to center the design before trimming the fabrics, to make sure I don''t end up with a headless princess or a crooked penguin. 

Once these are done, I'll sew them together (traditional method) and applique them to a background fabric. I have a few ideas for borders, but one thing at a time!

~*~ May your day be full of Love and Ladybug Hugs ~*~

Thanks for stopping by!
~ Kat ~

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

How I Procrastinate

I worked for days on end to finish the black and white quilt top for my friend Phoenix, then dove right in to piecing the back.  Except that I decided simple piecing wasn't enough, she needed more... more color and more love!

I sent her photos of each word as I made them, but I did not make them in order.  Phoenix.... Love.... Made.... it was comical to hear her guesses on what this was going to say!  :-)

But of course, I couldn't just leave well enough alone and stop there.  She happens to be a helicopter pilot (how cool is that???) so I made this block, as well:

I haven't a clue yet how I'll connect all of these pieces to make a back.  So many of you offered great suggestions on how to quilt the front and I can't wait to get started, but the inspiration for finishing the back has completely left me.  It'll come again, I'm sure.... but while I was avoiding that project, I took my girls to the library.

As we were checking out our books, my little one (she's 6) commented that we should have brought a bag with us because her little arms were having trouble carrying all her books.  A library bag, you say?  Brilliant!

If the bag was for me, it would have an outside pocket and more than one inner pocket.... but my girls love to fill every pocket of every bag with doo-dads (jewelry, toys, sea shells, scraps of paper, crayons, etc) and we end up carrying around (and sometimes losing) way more than necessary.  So, this one has only 1 pocket --- on the inside with a zipper --- to hold her library card and the library receipt (so she can remember how many books she checked out and their due dates).

This little bag was a nice chance to practice my FMQ.  Of course, it's easier with a smaller piece that's only 2 layers (1 fabric, 1 batting) and no seams, but it's kinda sorta starting to look like I know what I'm doing.  Woo hoo!

Too bad this bag only took about 2 hours to make, because inspiration still hadn't hit for the backing on the black and white quilt.  Decided to make a block for a quilt I've been wanting to try forever... inverted stars.  I'm going to quilt-as-I-go and this is (obviously) the purple block.  I'm hoping to do at least 12 blocks, each in a single color scheme and all from scraps.  I'm way short on scraps in a lot of the colors, but I'll figure that out later.  (I'll also make the inside of the stars a little differently in future blocks, but more on that another time.)

Last but not least, this is a bag I made a few weeks ago, the night before we left for our cruise.  Though I have about 400 tote bags, I knew that NONE of them would work and I HAD to make one with the few remaining hours I had before we left.

The photo below shows the colors more accurately.  I pulled out my box of grosgrain ribbon and started sewing them directly onto some of that pre-quilted fabric (which probably has a name).  I zig-zagged over a few lines, straight lined most of them.  The inside is lined and has 2 pockets on one side.  Certainly not my typical choice in colors, but for a Caribbean cruise, this was perfect.

As you probably guessed (if you made it this far), even this insanely long blog post is just another way to help me procrastinate.  I suppose I should go find a useful project to work on now.  It won't be the back for Phoenix's quilt, though.  Maybe I can figure out how to make the pillow I dreamed about last night.... 

Happy New Year, everyone!

~*~ May your day be full of Love and Ladybug Hugs ~*~ 

Thanks for stopping by!
~ Kat ~