Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Introducing Bahama Mama, a Blogger's Choice Challenge

FQS Blogger's Choice Challenge

Laura at Quokka Quilts issued a challenge on her blog. Create your own Blogger's Choice bundles. Choose 12 prints and 3 solids. I jumped at the chance to play because I love making mood boards. To make it just a little more interesting, there are also judges and prizes. Yes! Come play along.  : )

Currently, my house looks like a tornado hit it. Toys, boxes and Christmas decorations are all over the place.  It's a happy mess, but still a mess. I need a tropical vacation. Introducing, "Bahama Mamma." Oh Cabana boy?!?!  

You can see I was drawn to lots of warm, sunny, saturated tones. Mai Tai anyone?  
  1. Goodnight Spot Yellow Sleepytime Stars 
  2. Whimsy Teal Embellished Diamonds 
  3. Pocket Full of Posies Red Tiny Set Floral
  4. Folk Heart Red Floral Dots
  5. Peacock Lane Turquoise Falling Flowers
  6. Super Light Yellow Wandering Wildflowers
  7. Annie's Farm Stand Yellow Annie's Big Dot
  8. Ooh La La Turquoise Petite Fleurs
  9. Annie's Farm Stand Yellow Pixie Dots
  10. Remix Red Scatter Dots Yardage
  11. Juicy Blossoms Multi Zinnias Collage
  12. Ruby Cotton Aqua Sundae
  13. Bella Solids Betty's Red
  14. Michael Miller Turquoise Cotton Couture Solid
  15. Kona Cotton Papaya

Friday, December 23, 2011

Merry Christmas

Fabric Wreath blogged here

I'm busy wrapping up the last of the holiday prep over here at Casa Bluebell. Today I've been in the kitchen finishing up some handmade goodies. On the short list is:

Little helpers hard at work.

Over the next couple of days I'm looking forward to family, smiles, and hugs.  Revisiting old traditions and making new memories.  Yes, I'm a bit of a sap.  : )  Merry Christmas to all, and to all a goodnight.  See you in the New Year!!  xx A

Monday, December 19, 2011

Meet Molly the Waldorf Inspired Doll


Every year I try to make my kids something for their birthdays.  This year, I made Molly for my daughter.  I've been obsessively researching how to make these Waldorf/Steiner style cloth dolls for a couple of years now.  There is something so endearing about them.  This is the first doll I've ever made and I needed to talk myself into it.  Shaping the head is like nothing I've ever seen before.  It was definitely a process and very satisfying in the end.  I had her *almost* finished for last year's birthday, but I ran out of creative steam and time.  Poor Molly still needed hair and clothes.


The doll skin is a very fine cotton interlock that I bought here.  She's stuffed with carded wool stuffing from here.  Her hair is a mix of three different yarns I picked out at a local yarn shop.    Even though I had a pattern, making the clothes was the hardest for me to do.  The fabric for her pinafore is Pam Kitty Morning from here, and the pants are upcyled from my daughter's old shirt.


See the little rosebud at the neckline?  I cut a skinny strip (pinky sized) of tshirt, folded it in half and rolled it up.  A few hand stitches hold it in place.

Here are some of the books and websites that I found helpful.  If you have any favorite patterns or hints for making dolls I'd love to hear.  I'm already planning on making another one.  : )

  1. Making Waldorf Dolls by Maricristin Sealey
  2. Making Dolls by Sunnhild Reinckens
  3. The Doll Book by Karin Neuschutz


Saturday, December 17, 2011

WINNER: Daisy Mae Giveaway

Thanks to all of you for stopping by and entering my giveaway!!  Also a big thank you to Sew Mama Sew for hosting another awesome Giveaway Day!

The winner of the Daisy Mae fat quarter bundle is.......  Shana.  Congratulations Shana!!!

Have a wonderful weekend everyone.  My baby girl is turning four and I have a doll project two years in the making to finish up.  I'll share pictures when I'm done.  Oh, and I have cupcakes to bake.  She requested rainbow cupcakes again.  That girl LOVES rainbows.  Which reminds me... I need to get the Sprinkles quilt out of the WIP pile and into the finished pile.  It needs some straight line quilting, don't you think?

Monday, December 12, 2011

Giveaway: Daisy Mae by Denyse Schmidt

This giveaway is now closed and the winner has been announced.

WIN Daisy Mae by Denyse Schmidt

Hello Peeps, it's time for Sew Mama Sew's Giveaway Day. I'm giving away 19 fat quarters of Daisy Mae by Denyse Schmidt. That's the entire collection!! Exciting right?  : )

What is your favorite color? Leave one comment below.

Do you follow my blog? Please leave a second comment.

This giveaway ends on Friday, December 16th, 2011. One lucky winner will be chosen randomly. International entries are welcome.

Thank you so much for stopping by!!! See you on Friday when I announce the winner.  : )

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Member Spotlight at BAMQG

Wanna see my fabric stash? Or find out where I get my inspiration? Head on over the the BAMQG blog today...


Meanwhile, this elf is hard at work.  See you soon!  

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Fabric Keychains

Fabric Keychains

It was the end of the year and I wanted to give each of my fellow BAMQG officers a special gift. My wishlist: something handmade, something pretty, something fabric related and something useful. That's a lot of somethings isn't it?

Fabric Keychains

It took some thinking and I came up with this fun idea.  I paired sterling silver glass lockets with cute Heather Ross fabric.  I just love her illustrations!  Add some scrapbook paper and a ribbon for gift giving.  If you're making these for you non-fabric friends, add an initial or a photograph instead.

Fabric Keychains

I bought the fabric from Sew Deerly Loved.  It's called Heather Ross, Munki Munki, Notions. The lockets were in my stash. If you search etsy supplies for "glass lockets" you will find something similar.

Monday, November 21, 2011

I Love Echo by Lotta Jansdotter

Echo by Lotta Jansdotter
Echo by Lotta Jandsdotter
Echo by Lotta Jansdotter
My Favorite Prints, Echo by Lotta Jansdotter

From the first preview on her blog, I was smitten with Echo by Lotta Jansdotter.  It's crisp, fresh, organic, bold, earthy, modern and awesome!!  I bought mine from The Intrepid Thread.  Julie was so clever to pair it with some coordinating solids.  They are all so gorgeous together.

Lotta Prints
Lotta Prints by Lotta Jansdotter
Earlier this year I attended Lotta's printing workshop in Palm Springs, Ca.  I had so much fun making a stencil and printing my own fabric.  Lotta is such a talented and inspiring lady.  At the workshop, she encouraged us to  focus on simple shapes, inspired by everyday things.  That's what I love about Echo.  The motifs are simple and yet so stylish.  On the way out, I shyly asked her to sign my book.  She smiled a big smile and said (as only Lotta can), "Of course!"

My handmade stencil from Lotta's workshop.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Big Zig and Secret Garden by Sandi Henderson

On the work table

If you haven't seen Secret Garden by Sandi Henderson in person you are missing out!  Wait, let me rephrase that.  If you haven't felt Secret Garden by Sandi Henderson you are missing out!!!  It's poplin and so soft and smooth and wonderful.  I started cutting into it as soon as it arrived.  I'm working with the solids first, but I also have a fat quarter set of Sunset Garden waiting for a turn on the cutting table, as well as this quilt that was inspired by the medallion print.

On the work table

The quilting is slow going.  The picture above shows what it looks like two hours in.

I was planning on showing you this quilt finished with a big ta-da, but when I saw the sale I decided to share it a little early in case you want to make your own.

This is Big Zig...


Color placement plays a huge roll in this simple, but bold layout.  Here's one for you to color.  : )  My half square triangles measure 9" each and the final quilt will measure 51"x68".  If you use smaller 6" blocks and the same layout, it would make a perfect baby/toddler sized quilt, 33"x44".

Fabricworm has Secret Garden on sale ... today only, 25% off!!!  Click on any of the prints to see the sale price.  For this quilt I bought the half yard set of Michael Miller Cotton Couture solids and I have some leftovers.

More pictures coming soon.  Later today if I can bribe DH to hold it up before work.

Big Zig


Monday, November 14, 2011

Evolution of a Quilt Design

I've been working on a quilt design using half square triangles. It is supposed to be for an Accuquilt Go tutorial, except I'm having the hardest time getting my Go Baby fabric cutter to work. There has been a lot of back and forth with Customer Service, returns (shipping costs adding up!), deliveries and scrap fabric. In the meantime, I'm working out what I'm going to make.

This idea started months ago. I knew I wanted to use one of the half square triangle (HST) dies and my stack of Heirloom fabric by Joel Dewberry.  

On my Design Wall

I made this sample block awhile back and I really liked it!

The stars looked a lot different once I put them together. Kind of plain and flat. I didn't really like the secondary shapes that formed. Especially the square. It's so... square.

I tried adding another block to break up the stars and set it on point. This is a sweet little layout, but not really what I was looking for. It didn't feel like a good match with the modern, graphic fabric. It would make a super cute baby quilt though.

The HSTs weren't sewn together in stars yet, so why not use one of my favorite HST layouts. I love the repetition and the scattered colors. I added a taupe color to ground the light Heirloom prints. This quickly became the front runner, but I wanted to push myself further. What else? What else could I make?

At this point, the kids are asleep, there is some kind of show playing on the TV (background noise) and the DH and I are working away on our laptops. I gave the "rotate block" button a workout in EQ. It was the DH's idea to break it up into quadrants (I'm sure it was his sci-fi influence). Brilliant! I really liked the movement here and also the crisp white and the warm and bold Heirloom. The only thing I didn't love about it was the overall square shape. Again with the squares.  Picky Pickerson. I know.

What else...

I stopped for the night and in the morning I decided to try again but with the actual fabric and not the computer. I don't know how many incarnations of HST layouts I went through. There were a lot. Stripes? No. Zig zags? No. Chevrons? No. Broken Dishes? No. My arms were getting tired. What else?!

Test block for a project

Why not start with something I already liked and expand on that idea? Change it up a little. This is a riff on the pillow I made for the Pillow Talk Swap.

I knew I was done and I had the one when instead of thinking, I could make this, I was thinking, I want to make this. Right now! I left the room, came back... peek. Yup, I still like it. I had lunch, got the kids from school, went to the library and Target. Still like it? Yes. I really do. It's bold, crisp and scrappy. The blocks are big enough to show off the gorgeous fabric and there is a lot of movement and interest.

I hope you like it too. Tutorial coming really soon.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Sunday Stash: Daisy Mae by Denyse Schmidt

Three stores in five days and I finally got my hands on these beauties.  Come to Mama!

Daisy Mae by Denyse Schmidt

Daisy Mae by Denyse Schmidt

Daisy Mae by Denyse Schmidt

Daisy Mae by Denyse Schmidt.  Now available now at Jo-ann Fabric and Craft Stores.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Featured on Modern Day Quilts

Today my quilt, Liberated Habitat, is featured on Modern Day Quilts. Watch out Picasso here comes Adrianne.  : )

This is so exciting! I've followed Modern Day Quilts from the beginning and I just love it. You know how you have a blog or two that are must read? This is one of mine. In fact, it's in my google reader so I don't miss a post. If you have never been over there you must check it out. Maybe get a snack first because you're going to be clicking, next, next, next.

If you're visiting my blog for the first time, welcome. I'm so glad you're here!! Have a look around and let me know what you think.


Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Urgent, Blocks for San Bruno

A Block for Kelsey
Mod Mosaic Block for Kelsey

This is an urgent call for blocks, Kelsey is making a quilt for a family in need.  This family lost their home in the San Bruno gas line explosion last year, the husband is currently in the hospital after someone else hit his car on the way to work, and they are expecting their first baby in December.  They need a quilt hug for sure!  Read all about it on Kelsey's blog post here.  Kelsey is asking for blocks, scraps and help spreading the word.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Introducing, Liberated Habitat


Introducing, Liberated Habitat

Liberated Habitat

Finished with less than 12 hours to spare before my guild meeting.  Phew.  Let's just say as President of the Bay Area Modern Quilt Guild I had extra motivation to get this done by Saturday's meeting.  ; )  As I hand stitched the binding late Friday night, I was very thankful this wasn't a big quilt.  It only measures 30"x45".  The name was inspired by a comment that Jodi left in an earlier blog post.  Thanks Jodi, I think I did manage to liberate the Habitat.  LOL.  It all started with fat eighths of Habitat by Jay McCarrol and a handful of Kona solids.

Habitat Challenge

Liberated Habitat

I used one of Gwen Marston's designs from her book, Liberated Quiltmaking II.  For the quilting, I sewed crazy, criss-cross quilting lines all over to echo the lines on two of the prints.  While I was quilting it, I laughed and asked, "how will I know when I'm done?"  Hmmm... very free flowing.  It was fun!

Liberated Habitat

Tom said it looked like a Picasso.  Not necessarily in a supportive tone.  More of a goading, sassy one.  So my reply was to sign it and frame it like a painting.  So there.  : P

It was a challenge pushing through with my original vision.  I had my doubts.  I had lots of support to "embrace the crazy" from my friends.  It's not that I don't like it, it's just so different than what I usually do.  Looking at it now, it's hard to believe I made it.  For that very reason I love it.  Thank you friends for encouraging me to finish, thank you BAMQG for working along side me with your own challenges, thank you Tom for inspiring a cheeky finish and thank you Free Spirit for supplying our guild with fabric to play with!!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Pillow Talk Swap 6

I participated in the latest round of the Pillow Talk Swap on flickr.  The deadline to mail our pillows was November 1st.

Pillow Talk Swap 6, Finished

This is the pillow I sent out on... November 1st.  : )

After stalking my secret partner on his/her blog, through his/her flickr projects and favorites I put together this stack of fabrics I thought he/she would like.  Sorry for all the he/she stuff.  It's a secret you see.

Fabrics for PTS 6

The fabric sat around awhile, marinating, waiting to become something. Narrowing it down to one idea is hard.  There are so many possibilities, so many things you could do.

One of the fabrics is a cheater print and I started thinking, what if I cut those squares apart and treated it as separate fabrics?  I remembered how much I loved Erin's scrappy Swoon block.  If I made one Swoon block a little smaller, it would be a great pillow.

I liked the idea of it, but I wasn't sure how it would look.  My friend Jaye says, "make visual decisions visually".  So I drafted the block in EQ and colored it with a similar color palette.  I LOVED it.

Pillow Talk Swap 6

I bought the pattern Swoon by Camille Roskelley and started piecing the blocks.  I made some changes as I went.  For a scrappy look, I broke up the big rectangles into squares.  The cheater print and linen were so great together I decided to not use any of the other fabrics.  I also changed the center square from a colored block to plain linen one.  Slowly I'm learning to listen to my instincts as I go.

Pillow Talk Swap 6

Pressing the seams open helped match up all those points.

Pillow Talk Swap 6, Finished

I had a few extra blocks and I added them to the back.  Now my pillow is on it's way to it's new home.  I hope my partner likes it as much as I do.

The end.  : )

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Delighted by The Quilted Fish

My friend Julie is part of the creative team for Riley Blake and I was lucky enough to be invited to her Delighted launch party.  Delighted is the newest line by The Quilted Fish for Riley Blake.

Image Source: The Intrepid Thread

We had fun giggling and crafting.  Look at these cute pincushion rings we made.

Pincushion Rings

I have a little crush on the sunny one.

Pincushion Rings

These would make a cute gift for your sewing friends for the holidays, or just because.  It's also a fun crafty project for a sew day.  If you would like to make one too Julie has a video tutorial that shows you how.

Julie's Pincushion Ring Tutorial
Entire line of Delighted
The Quilted Fish blog
Riley Blake


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