Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Doll quilt swap #2 - I got my quilt, and I'm speechless!

Ok, so seriously - I almost fell over when my doll quilt arrived today.

It's from LuLu of Lu Lu Lolly Legs. She's about half way around the world from me in Melbourne, Australia!
The adorable wrapping including yo-yo (my favorite!) pin, the sweet card, and the cutest little doll quilt ever.

This quilt is SO SUPER ADORABLE! Thank you so very much LuLu for all your hard work. It is completely perfect in my red and yellow kitchen. I will hang it this weekend and it will really add a lot to the breakfast nook.

The quality of the work on this quilt, with the adorable original apron design...including embroidery (cherry - to die for sweet!) - wow! LuLu did everything by hand, so I am seriously impressed.

Tons more pictures to come of the gift wrapping, the adorable back with embroidered label...

It really made my week. Thanks again LuLu for your amazing gift.

She likes it!

My doll quilt partner got the doll quilt, and she likes it! Cool! I'm thrilled!

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Podcast mention from Annie - cool!

Not sure if you had the chance to listen to Quilting Stash podcast #92 yet, but Annie gave me another mention, with a link to my blog...

Thanks Annie, and I'm still listening to and loving your podcast about quilting. So very fun with tons of useful info.

Yesterday was Day Out With Thomas, where kids can ride inside a train car "pulled by" Thomas the Train. It was fun, and it took us to Felton, CA.

While we were hanging out there, we stumbled upon this very adorable quilt and yarn shop, Luminous Threads. If you're ever on your way to Santa Cruz, CA, or end up in Felton, it's worth a stop. The help is friendly, and the fabric selection is cool and funky too. Yarns there make me seriously sorry that I'm so bad a knitting.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

150 - wow

Who knew my tiny little blog would grow to 150 posts long. Wow, I'm so amazed.

This "Quilter" sign was a mother's day gift from my sister this year. It's so pretty, I keep it right up on my desk where I can see it all the time.

Ok, so soooo many things going on. Tonight I had some coffee with my new friend Susan - Hi Susan! and we did a bit of quilting, and she showed me her amazingly beautiful Sunbonnet Sue blocks. She's a super-perfectionist quilter. It's such a pleasure to meet somebody like her who is so passionate about quilting and such a natural at it. Good quilty vibes! Thanks for spending some time with me, my friend.

In other news, my only created yesterday Dear Hannah group already has a new member! Wow again, how cool is that. Welcome Betsy! You rock for joining in on all the fun.

Also, yesterday, I ran out and bought a huge bunch of colored pencils. I want to make something like this project, over at Mama Urchin's blog. My son would go so nuts for a pencil set like this and with all the kid birthdays we go to...what better gifts could you possible make.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Dear Hannah Quilt

The Dear Hannah quilt is very near and dear to my heart. If you're a quilter, you probably know all about the Dear Jane quilt and probably Dear Hannah as well.

If you're not and you're reading this to gain a bit of education, or your just my dad or something...here's the deal.

The Dear Jane quilt was made in 1863 by Jane A. Stickle. Brenda Papadakis published a book about this quilt, and includes some really great patterns of the blocks that billions and zillions of quilters reproduce in either full sized quilts or smaller versions - we call these "baby Jane's".

Brenda Papadakis then published her own book which she calls Dear Hannah. This has a ton more applique, although also has pieced blocks too...but is in the style of Dear Jane but with her personal twist.

I love both these books, hence I'm using them together to make 1 quilt by pulling all my favorite blocks from both.

Anyhow, I mentioned that I started uploading photos of my Dear Jane blocks to the flickr group, but felt like my Dear Hannah blocks, like that above, were getting slighted since there was no where for them to be displayed to the greater universe in all their glory.

Hence, the creation of a Dear Hannah Flickr group!! So, if you're out there...making these blocks...give me a shout, and I'll invite you to join my so far only group of 1 very enthusiastic quilter. C'est moi.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

3 a day

So I went through all my Dear Jane blocks and photographed them directly with no fancy lighting.

The Dear Jane flickr group only allows 3 uploads a day (WOW! not much!) so daily I'm posting my blocks up there that I've already done.

Does anybody know if a Dear Hannah Flickr group exists? I guess I'll have to do some surfing...

Monday, July 23, 2007

Thanks, Lisa

Now that my doll quilt is off to it's new home, (hope the owner likes it - haven't heard back yet!) this special little thank you gift is also on it's way.

Lisa really went out of her way to organize an extremely cool doll quilt swap, so this small bag is a token of appreciation for her hard work.

I really had a blast for the last 2 swaps. Thanks again Lisa!! Check your mailbox soon!

Sunday, July 22, 2007

How far will you drive?

Yesterday, I drove 1 hr each direction to visit Thimble Creek quilt shop.

It was awesome in that I found some fabric by Japanese designers Chuck Nohara, and Yoko Saito. It was also a bit sad since I had not visited their new shop since the moved and the old shop was so much larger, brighter and nicer.

I did find my favorite thimbles there, however, and finally figured out how to buy them online. These are really the only ones I use for hand quilting, so check them out if you don't have one already.

Anyhow, it got me and our almost 2 yr old son out and about for a while so my husband could work on his car.

My mom and sister went on a quilt shop hop yesterday of their own and hit 7 quilt shops (that's a lot for 1 day). Hopefully they bought me tons of little goodies along the say..he he..

The above pens I picked at Kinokuniya. I previously have only used the permanent pens by Pigma, but these seem interesting. Not as many color options, but the tips work well for my label making.

Lisa of the doll quilt swap will soon be enjoying a little thank you gift I made using these. Thanks again for creating the doll quilt swap, and keep up the good work Lisa!!

Friday, July 20, 2007


Hexagons seem to be in the air these days.

Be they quilted, or crocheted (like those from Moonstitches, one of my fav blogs!) it seems like people are getting into them this summer.

This is a grouping of less than 1 inch hexagons that I english paper pieced by hand and appliqued onto the outside of a purse. All the fabrics are by Japanese fabric companies, lots of Leicen and Westex brand.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Parting shot - doll quilt swap #2

You know I cannot resist one final parting shot of the doll quilt. I sent it off priority mail this morning, so it's well on it's way to it's new owner.

My hope it that it makes her smile, and that I wasn't too far off from the colors/style she likes even though it was a stretch for me.

I feel like putting a tag on it like the one that Paddington Bear has - please look after this quilt...

I tidbit of exciting news for me, I was accepted into the Dear Jane Flickr group, so time to post all my Jane block pix up there. I think it will be nice to have them all in one place and the community there is very cool.

Sun-warmed berries

Not sure if there's anything better than picking your own sun-warmed strawberries.

Eat as you work, and hunt for the ripe ones! We picked ours in Gizdich Farms.

In case you're wondering who's going to eat all these berries...here's a hint.

For those of you tech-heads out there, there were over 700,000 sales of iPhones on the first weekend they became available. It's hard to believe there are that many of them floating around out there.

I haven't bought one yet, but you know one of my favorite web sites "Will it blend?" did away with 1 of those 700,000 in their usual super-funny manner...by throwing it into a high-powered blender! Daring.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Label for Doll Quilt Swap #2

OK, this doll quilt is ready to roll out the door.

This weekend I finished the label, and attached it (by hand, of course) to the back of the little doll quilt.

The back of the quilt is sort of nuts with tons of dots, but its fun and it's just the back after all.

I used my usual pigma pen, and calligraphy style. Hope that my partner likes it...

I'm looking forward to going berry picking in Watsonville this afternoon. Strawberries, and olallieberries are ripe for the picking. Not sure how many will be eaten vs. how many will make it to the bucket to take home.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Garden Give Up

Ever since we bought our house some years ago, my husband has lovingly and caringly mowed our lawn just about every weekend.

With the recent arrival of his Father's Day bike trailer, it as become aparent that taking bike rides on the weekend is more fun that fussing with the grass.

I managed to get our neighbor's gardener to start taking over our grass starting next week.

He feels like he's giving up pride in our home, but I think more family time on the weekend is well worth the service charge.

In other news, my quilt group friend "Betsy", (she makes a TON of quilts, check out her blog) send me a couple links to new patters.

This one is by one of my all time favorites, Jeanna Kimball. This one also looks pretty cool, I may break down and have to get both of them.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Doll Quilt Swap 2 - I'm DONE! (well, almost)

Ok, ok, so I still need to make a label for this doll quilt swap quilt, but here it is in it's more or less final form.

I put a binding on it that is black, so I'll have to get some pix of it up on my wall or something before I send it on it's merry way.

I had never tried using this clam shell quilting pattern before, but I think it filled the white space nicely.

Hopefully my partner will like it, she said she's into retro 1930's looking fabrics, so I really tried not to stray to far from her personal request (even though the pattern itself is Japanese, so I'm a bit guilty of following her taste perhaps there).

The quilt that I mailed off for the Doll Quilt Swap #1 was well-loved by Maggi, so hope that this one is off to a similar good home.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Odd eats

One of my favorite TV shows is called Good Eats. This pepper plant definitely falls into a category of it's own - Odd Eats!

My gardner friend gave me these plants she grew from seed, and asked me how the peppers were looking. I said that they did look a bit strange, as they were pointing directly up, instead of down, as most pepper plants do.

I have two of these darn things, and both of them have their fruits directly pointing at the sky. Is this rude? Is this normal? Should I eat them eventually? Even the garden guru said it was very strange and unusual. I'll probably eat them anyhow unless you can come up with a reason not to!

In other news, (this is huge, I'm superexcited) I put in my application to take a series of quilt appraisal classes from AQS in January at the Road 2 California quilt show.

Not sure if they will accept me yet or if the class is full, but keep a happy thought for me getting in!

Sunday, July 8, 2007

Goodies from Clover

My order arrived from Clover! In it includes yo-yo makers in circle, heart, and flower shapes.

This one is the smallest circle they offer, it is literally tiny tiny tiny.

Can you imagine a doll quilt made out of only these? That would be stunning I think.

Saturday, July 7, 2007

Happy Hollow

This afternoon we're probably heading out to Happy Hollow to feed the goats, and visit the monkeys...the baby is a little scared of the goats if they are starving.

Better to go in afternoon in hopes that they've already eaten a bunch!

The little bag above is something I gave to Annie, the podcaster, as a thank you for all the amazing work that she does. She came out with a new episode that I haven't even had the pleasure of listening to yet.

Thursday, July 5, 2007

Before and after - how to make your doll quilt label!

I wanted to do a special post for all you doll quilt swappers out there.

Truthfully, it applies to all quilters, or all those who work with fabric I suppose.

I'm in love with Copperplate calligraphy, as I've mentioned before. This style of writing was popular in the 1850's or so. I love to write all over my quilts. Tops, labels, everywhere.

After studying this writing style and trying to memorize how to make the letters in that elaborate, beautiful manner, I have boiled my quilt tatoo secret sauce down to pretty much one simple technique:

Write out your quilt label text on a plain piece of white fabric. Mark some writing lines on there if you don't want it to get too nuts and crazy looking, as your guide.

Use a pigma permanent marker. Don't try anything else, just go with this...trust me...it works!!!

Use your best handwriting, or the best that you can muster at the time.

Then..........drum roll please....go back over the writing and every time your pen writes "down", meaning - a mark that moves from the upper part of the paper to the lower part of the paper, make that line just a little tiny bit thicker.

To prove this would make any handwriting better - I didn't have to look far for my volunteer. My husband (an incredible amazing man who I adore and admire endlessly) has pretty much the worst writing I've ever seen. Even HE can't read it half the time.

I asked him to write a sentence, and afterwards, I filled a little shading in, and voilà!

Looks better, right?

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

4th of July fireworks

Hope that your mid-week holiday is an awesome one. Nothing as nice as a paid day off.

My fireworks this year came in the form of a quilted flag from my sweet sister. It arrived just in time to hang on my wall and decorate our 4th of July holiday.

Thanks little sis, your work, as always, is precise and beautiful. I have the perfect place for this in my kitchen.

We're off to Shoreline tonight for a concert, picnic, and fireworks show...hope that the baby isn't too scared by them, but he's almost 2 now, so he's not exactly a baby anymore.

I'm sure he'll say "WooooooooooooWWWWW!"

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Am I crazy? You tell me...

For our little internet Doll Quilt swap...I decided to do more or less everything for the project by hand.

Hand applique, hand quilting...hand binding. Do you think I'm nuts to put so much time and effort into such a small project for a light-hearted internet swap? Some may think so...

Maybe I'm just addicted to hand quilting!

I have not mailed the whole thing off to my partner yet, but I'm thinking I can finish the binding and label in the next day or two.

Lately I've had a very strange craving for a Mos burger. Yup, not a big mac, no, but a real, live Mos Burger!

Only found in Japan, of course...I've been known to eat these for breakfast with a green tea latte. Fast food at it's finest.