Friday, February 7, 2014

Amora's Donut Quilt

Wow, almost exactly one year ago I wrote my last blog post!  Man time flies!  I'm such an Instagram addict, blogging just didn't happen.  But I'm going to try and post about some of my sewing finishes every one and a while, just cause it's nice to have an archive.

Immediately after seeing Amanda's Donut Quilt, I knew I had to make one for baby Amora.  I have been having major donut cravings this pregnancy so it only seemed fitting.  So at a recent sewing retreat with friends, and with the help of friends, primarily the awesome Tamiko, we modified the pattern to make a good baby size quilt with all full size donuts.  I finished the quilt top that weekend, and was so fired up basted it, quilted it and bound it later the next week - super fast for me (I have a gazillion WIP's).  I love this quilt so much and my first try at FMQ'ing went pretty well and was really fun and fast!  Definitely need to try this more and not always rely on straight line quilting.

The Fabric Pull

Planing the layout
A completed quilt top
Damien testing out his sister's quilt.

Close up of the loopy quilting

The full quilt

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Echino Tote

Things have been a little crazy work wise, what is new!  But I finally got an afternoon off to sew!  And finally put my hoarded very large stash of Echino fabric to use.  Making a new diaper/travel bag for my son has been on my to-do list for a long time.  I'm so embarrassed by what we were using, I can't show pictures.  I'll just describe it as a very stained, plain cream canvas tote with pink straps.  My husband just loved carrying that on his walk back and forth to daycare - Not!

1st side panel top done.  A little busy, but I like it.  #echino
First Side Panel
I really really love the QAYG method, it is so much fun.  I really enjoy the creative improv process of just building something as you go along, as opposed to following a set pattern.

Side 2 done!  time to make a bag! #echino
Second Side Panel
I finished the panels Saturday just before my son returned from his adventure with his Dad.  I couldn't believe that it took me so long to make these two panels, since I don't get a ton of time to sew, I always feel so rushed to try and get as much done as possible. But then I reflected on how much fun I had, and decided not to stress about productivity.

Completed Tote!
I was determined to finish the bad that evening.  And since I was sewing late into the night (after taking the evening to spend with my son), I sewed the straps in backwards (with the webbing facing in not out), so I had to redo that.  After I did it a second time, I decided that I had also placed the straps too wide.  But I just didn't have the energy to redo a third time, so lesson learned for next time.

Tote Bag in Action
I didn't use a pattern.  Just measured the bag we were using and used those measurements as a guide.  As far as construction went, I cut one long piece for the lining, and then sewed the sides right side together.  Then when putting the bag together I stitched around the top right sides together and left a space for turning in the lining - AT THE TOP!!  Bad idea.  It was really hard to make that top whole look right when I topstiched around the top cause the QAYG panels were so thick.  So next time I will cut two pieces for the lining and leave a space for turning on the bottom!!

My Adorable, But Not Smiling Model
But all in all we are all super happy with the tote bag that I made in one day!  Especially my hubby, who uses it the most.   I'm already plotting another one!

Action Shot!

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Damien's Echino Quilt

It was finally nice enough outside during daylight hours that I am home (cause were in LA) for me to take pictures of the full Echino quilt I made my son.  I love it so much, I want one of my own, soon.  So does many of my family members!  We all love snuggling under it with my son when he's watching one of his shows during wind down time.  

I knew I wanted to do framed boxes for the design but the end result was a bit of an accident.  I am terrible at math, and I cut the solid first frame twice and large as I wanted it.  I had intended to do a small solid border followed by a larger print border.  Oops.  But I like the way it turned out because I think it really highlights the center Echino prints.

I worked on it over the New Year's holiday when my son was at his grandparent's house for 4 days.  It got cold in Berkeley (for an LA girl) and we turn the heat way down when we sleep.  So, my son needed a warmer blanket.  He was so excited to see it when he got home, he pointed out all the cars and the buses and planes, and animals and named every color.  That made me so happy.

I didn't want to do a lot of quilting with minky so I initially tried the sew right sides together and turn method, top stitching around (yes, there is betting in the middle as well).  After I did that I thought it was a little unstable, so I quilted a few vertical and horizontal lines to stabilize it.  The first run through without pinning (what was I thinking!!!!) was a disaster.  Guess I thought that since it was topstitched it would stay in place.  WRONG.  So after pulling that out, which was HARD, I pinned a lot and then quilted a few lines, and that worked fine.  The one other thing I did wrong was that I didn't pre-wash my top fabrics, so when I did wash the quilt, it shrank a little (no shocker there) and so the back is a little baggy in a few places.  Next time I will pre-wash the quilt top after stitching around the edges to prevent a lot of fraying (I like working with unwashed fabrics when piecing).  

Can't wait to have time to move on the next one.  I just stocked up on TONS more minky backing.  To me, heavy, soft, fluffly, warm quilts are preferred.  Echino and minky is a match made in heaven for me.

Thursday, January 10, 2013


My Son's New Quilt
OK, two posts in a day, can you handle it?!  So, over the New Years holiday, while my amazing family was watching my son so my husband I could get a nice staycation alone (for the first time in 2 years being alone more than one night), I decided to make my son a nice warm quilt.  I will do a proper post about the quilt when I can get better pictures outside.  But here's a peak of him enjoying it!  (and if you follow on IG, you've seen it a bunch already!!).  The point now is that it features all Echino prints in the center squares.  I LOVE Echino (as I have already shared) and Kokka, the manufacturer.

 Well, after making his quilt, I couldn't help but make some nice piles of some of my other stash for two quilts for a good friend's new step daughters.  One loves pink and purple - she's got good taste I say.

And the other one likes greens and blues.  Also super pretty.  Well, I happen to have some good prints in those colors as well.  Seriously can't wait to play with these.  While I had all this Echino on the brain, a friend from Sewing Summit, amazingly talented Nydia from the ADD Crafter posted a pic of Echino's blue cameras, a print that until recently I could not find for sale ANYWHERE.  She was so kind enough to send me a piece of her precious stack.  Love her.  When I had it in hand, I just had to have more.  So I hit the internet, HARD.  And found LOTS of hard to find out of print goodies, and some at amazing prices.  

So, I may have ordered a bunch from many different places, cause the deals were too good to pass up, and I need to stock up since I will be in Nicaragua for three months this summer and need to pre-order my supplies, and Echino is MY FAVORITE.  Since I am so nice, and have been called an enabler, I will share my deal secrets with you.  BOTH the pink glasses and blue cameras are $14.41 a yard (yes, this is true) at Humble Beginnings.  The yellow/green sunglasses are here at Quilted Threads for $17.95 a yard (they also have the glasses in brown).

Fancy any of these Kokka prints, including the pink Decoro deer and Melody Miller Typewriter in blue at, wait for it, $9.74 a yard, then go to Fabric Robot.

Want some black scooters, or other older Echino Prints for $11-13 a yard, then go to Tommorow's Quilts.

There you have it, some amazing deals.  Don't hate me for sharing, I know it will be tough to resist.

Christmas Clutches

Wow, it sure has been a while since I last blogged!  Busy busy busy town.  Anyway, I wanted to share my go-to presents for all my special girlfriends this year.  Clutches are quite popular to make and to use right now, and once I learned how to make one from my awesome friend MaLora at the Sewing Summit, I ordered a bunch of supplies to make for gifts.

I didn't want to have to purchase a pattern.  Then I saw some fantastic purses on my friend Di's blog, and asked her if she used a pattern.  She directed me to The Villiage Haberdashery's tutorial to make your own pattern and gave me some tips.  Thank you Di!  So I made the pattern, tested it out, liked the result and went into mass production per the advice of my friend Elena.  This meant trying to do one step for all the purses at a time, like cut all the fabric out one night, the interfacing the next night, etc.  And so, 11 clutches were made and gifted!  (not all pictured here).

For my boss Molly.
For my friend Leah. 
For my friend Gabrielle.

For my friend Kate.

For my friend Jaci.
For my friend Ashley

For my friend Kristin
They are so fun to make.  Just ordered some more supplies to have on hand, just in case I need a quick gift idea.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

blueEnergy Raffle Winners

blueEnergy beneficiary
I'm happy to announce the winners of the raffle.  I wish everyone who donated and participated could be winners, as it was really sweet of you to help support the work blueEnergy is doing.  But, only three can win the prizes here and they are:

Prize #1 custom clutch or zip pouch:  #7 Ash
Prize #2 custom clutch or zip pouch and charm packs: #9 LethargicLass
Prize #3 custom clutch or zip pouch and fat eight bundle of mirror dots:  #3 Marci Warren-Elmer

I will email the prize winners.  Thank you so very much to everyone!

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Last Minute Gift Idea

Christmas is in FIVE days!!!  Had plans to make a whole bunch of things for the holidays, but time stuck up on ya?  Well if you need a last minute gift idea, I've got one for you!  Give the gift of light, hope and opportunity to children and families in need in Nicaragua by making a donation to blueEnergy.  Check out my post HERE for all the details about blueEnergy and the raffle where you can win fantastic prizes!  Now you can print out a gift card to give to your friends and family!

Download the printable Gift Card HERE.

You can make a donation by going to the campaign webpage HERE.

Or, you can make a donation via PAYPAL:

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