Last Finished Quilt of 2011

I worked my butt off on the quilting and binding for this quilt and managed to finish it in time for Henry for Christmas. 


This quilt is the last of four I Spy quilts.
It is the last quilt for the year and the last of my parade of handmades.

Henry square
(Henry's fishy square)

I started his I Spy quilt knowing two things, I wanted to use the Ann Kelle Remix Stripe somewhere in the quilt and that I was willing to cut into anything to get some interesting prints.

ann kelle remix stripe as binding

When I had finally pulled together the 135 prints for his quilt, it still took months and months before the full design came to me.  I'm not a fast designer.  Either the idea has come to me, or it hasn't arrived yet.  I try to be patient until the right plan comes to mind, but it isn't always easy.  The design for this quilt came over months of thinking about it.
One day, I just woke up and I knew I wanted to use more than color for the solid squares.  I thought that they would be random....

Then, weeks later, I decided to arrange the squares in a plus sign design.

 double quilted plus

Then, it took months before I figured out that I wanted the spy fabrics arranged by color
and in pluses also.

more hand quilting

The quilt squares took up the whole floor of my dining room for two weeks before I figured out that the pale background spy prints had to go at the bottom of the quilt and offset by the colored solids.

Even once the top was designed, it still took me ages and ages before I knew how to quilt it.  Eventually, I decided on a mix of machine and hand quilting.


all done

Here is the recipient inspecting the I Spy squares:


I think he likes it!

Thank you to Rachel, Audrey, and Sandi for helping me to collect fabrics!

And thank you to all readers and commenters on this blog.
It really does help me stay motivated to finish projects throughout the year.

Happy New Year to you!

Mom's Pillow

Kerry's and Leila's recent posts about making pillows got my mind whirring.  Naturally, I thought I'd try to make one for my mom.  This was so fun that I might become a pillow addict soon.

mom's pillow

I used Kerry's pattern and put my own twist on it with 
added angles, quilting, zipper closure and and put a star on top of the tree.

mom's pillow

The star is from an IKEA print and I put a little red hand stitching around it.

mom's pillow

For this project I put in my first invisible zipper.

mom's pillow

My mom is so excited about the pillow, and that made it easier to let go.

Parade of the Handmades

I made a few other gifts for the holidays....

First up is a felt ornament for Ben.  He is a big Cubbies fan and all he wanted for Christmas was tickets to a game this summer.  But, I had to make something for him, too.  Ben's birding friend, Mike, has a bunch of Packers and Brewers ornaments on the family tree.  So, naturally, I had to step in so Ben could root for his team while decorating the tree.

Cubs ornament for the hubs

Then I made this little pouch with a pattern by Keyka Lou. This is the Keychain Clutch pattern and is just as cute as can be.

Keychain Clutch open
Keychain Clutch closed

Lastly is another Keyka Lou pattern called the Bubble Pouch.  I think it is super cute and simple to sew.  And, as an extra bonus, Keyka Lou is is having a sale on patterns she is retiring and this is one of them.  The pattern is only $3, but, you have to hurry here before January 1st. 

Bubble Pouch open

Bubble Pouch front

I still have a few more handmades to show, but I have to get some decent photos first. The gloomy winter weather is not cooperating.

The kitties have moved in!

I finished renovating the house for Henry in the early morning hours of Christmas Eve.  

outside of house

In addition to the painting, three rooms got new wood floors and two received new "tile". 

kitchen and green bedroom


The kitty family moved in on Christmas morning.


Henry's excitement made everything totally worthwhile.  The kitties have been very busy trying out the stairs, the potty, the bathtub and the bed (under the covers, of course).  And, we've mostly dissuaded Henry from crawling into the house or using it as yet another percussion instrument.

I hope your holidays were joyous.


For three days I've been taking out carpet and wallpaper, priming, painting, sanding, laying flooring, and more painting.  All for Henry's gift on Christmas day.  The work is not yet finished, 
but I thought that I could post a few "before" photos. 

This is the dollhouse my dad made for me for Christmas when I was a child.  He decorated it with carpet samples and wallpaper scraps that matched my childhood home. 

outside of house

The house was designed with 4 large doors that opened up--two in the front and two in the back.   
The doors are held shut with magnets.

bedroom and livingroom and stairs

diningroom wallpaper

The attic is under one side of the roof. 

and attic

Stay tuned for the new and improved house!  
I can't wait to see the look on Henry's face on Christmas morning.

Sun to photograph by

I swear I haven't seen the sunshine for a week or more.  But this morning the sky is clear and blue.  Finally, it is a good day for quilt photography!

This was my initial sketch for a quilt for our friend (soon to be one year old!) Miles.  I bought some water themed fabrics and tried to include them all in the quilt plan.

initial drawing

Soon after starting my piecing plan, I realized that the prints were too bright and with strong contrast.
They needed more solids to balance the design. 

The turtles and the zig zag stripe are from Wendy Slotboom for In the Beginning.  The whales are Anne Kelle Urban Zoologie.  The octopus/whale/submarine print and the school of fish are from Cosmo Cricket Snorkel.  The big bubbles are Jennifer Paganelli Bell Bottoms.  The solids are Kona white, Connecting Threads ocean mist and marine (I think marine is discontinued).  
The quilt is bound in the marine fabric also.

I made a lot of adjustments and added solids as I went along with the cutting process.  
I think it worked out. 

swimmy quilt for Miles

I hope a certain one year old likes it!

(Photos of this quilt were brought to you by sunshine and a patient husband 
willing to stand and hold up a quilt on a frosty morning.)