Grunge Moda Basic Grey – Wedding Gift


After rejecting the Satsuki Jewel quilt to give as a wedding gift, I started looking closer at this jelly roll, Grunge by Moda. The Satsuki Jewel quilt felt too traditional and scrappy, and I thought a more modern quilt would be a better choice for the recipients in mind.

I did a search on the fabric, just casually looking for ideas, and I happened on a pattern featuring this exact fabric line!

Kinda felt like cheating, but it was pretty much the look I was hoping for, and I’d never done a pattern like it before.

Lots of cutting…


The blocks were really fun to piece! I enjoyed putting all the different colors together in so many different combinations. So satisfying.



Free motion quilting


Trimming off the edges is always thrilling


Sewing the binding


I love using wonderclips to hold the binding in place while I hand sew – it keeps the edges from fraying so much in the meantime.


Love this one! Was fun and easy, and I look forward to trying this pattern with other fabrics.



Satsuki Jewel Quilt

I’d like to blog about my current project(s), but I feel like I need to catch up on old stuff first! So here’s another one I started in early 2015. I bought a layer cake of Robert Kaufman Satsuki Jewel, thinking it would make a lovely quilt for a wedding gift. I’d also been wanting to try out an altered squares pattern.



I cut each square into 4 pieces – either equal squares or triangles.



The fabric is pretty, but I really wasn’t crazy about the way this was coming together. Too patchy – I think the fabric needed something a little more orderly.

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I used this fabric for border and backing. This is another mistake I learned from – it’s best for bordering colors to go from lightest to dark, not darkest to lightest as I did.


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Quilt sandwich, first layer



Quilted with free motion meandering pattern

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A full layer cake pack makes a big quilt!

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I always have helpers for hand sewing the binding

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I realized early on that this wasn’t the quilt I wanted to give as a wedding gift and started another project that I loved! (hate to say I’m so disappointed in this one, but it was another good learning experience).

Amy Butler Belle Quilt

20150328_235545I was so eager to make a quilt with Amy Butler fabric, and I knew my Aunt Linda would be the perfect recipient. I made this quilt in extreme gratitude for her help through a very difficult experience.

There was a Craftsy video featuring videos from QuiltCon 2013, and Amy Butler was one of the speakers. Her approach to colors and design is gorgeous and inspiring!


Just look at this beautiful fabric! I used 3 charm packs to make this, along with a jelly roll of this creamy linen color.


This is my least favorite part of quilt making – putting the quilt sandwich together. I generally clear space in the living room and use painter’s tape to secure the backing to the floor. The pinning process always seems to take so long. And it’s a losing battle to keep pets off, except for the Irish Wolfhound who actually obeys my request to step elsewhere.


Free motion quilting – always a joy!


This is a strange picture – why isn’t there a cat impeding my work?

There’s sweet boy Raoul, helping as I trimmed off the edges once quilting was finished.


Sewing on the binding with Suey cuddling in the warm folds.



I love wrapping my quilts with a big ribbon before gifting them.


Gift Quilts for Daddy and Father-in-Law

In 2014, I made quilts for my dad and for my father-in-law as holiday gifts.

I used a quilt kit from Craftsy for my dad’s quilt, the Kite Flight. The colors are so cheerful! This was m 2nd time using a quilt kit from Craftsy, which I did find very enjoyable as a beginner quilter.


This is how the kit came – a jelly roll and one piece of yardage.



Started by sewing strips together. Fun and easy!


Here’s the back of a block – it’s interesting that they can look so sloppy on the back and so perfect on the front.


Sewing helpers, as always. I tried using invisible thread for stitching in the ditch. I really didn’t like it, and I don’t think I’ll try it again. It was difficult to get the tension right, and I just didn’t appreciate the feel of it. It feels like fishing line – stiff. And it’s not soft to the touch – not what I want with a cuddly quilt.


Finished quilt (before washing). I’d like to try this pattern again with different fabrics, and I think I’ll make it wider next time, as it’s a long and narrow shape.


For my father-in-law’s quilt, I used this pug fabric as inspiration (he loves pugs!). 20141030_205547

I ended up not using the red fabric, though I like the way it looks in this little bundle.



I wasn’t too happy with this one. My husband talked me into the mustard yellow binding, and I don’t think it works (I’ve since learned to stop asking for his opinion). Plus, the black fabric bled onto the white backing when I washed it, even though I added 2 color catchers to the wash.

Mommy Fortuna Cosplay

For Dragon Con 2014, my husband and I dressed as characters from The Last Unicorn. I put my new sewing skills to the test!


He was Schmendrick the Magician (see a previous blog for details on making this one), and I was Mommy Fortuna.


I pretty much followed patterns except for extending the length of the tunic. I also added the ribbed fabric for the sleeve cuffs.


The cuffs looked good, but I should have included elastic! They were custom fit to my wrist, so I wasn’t able to push my sleeves up when I got warm. Oops.



The hat was the hard part. I started with a plain black ball cap purchased from Michael’s, and I used craft foam sheets (also from Michael’s). I cut the brim off the ball cap, and I liked that it was adjustable to my head, especially knowing there would be a wig involved.

I stapled the foam to the hat and used heat from the stovetop to gently melt and shape the pieces. This was challenging!


I used a ball point pen to carve lines into the hat, trying to imitate wood grain.


Here’s a test piece – I ended up using brown puffy paint to give it a more textured look, and I painted over it with black and brown.


Added a few more branches and the crow. I used Elmer’s glue to attach the other branches (pinned in place with quilting pins until dry). I should have reinforced the top of the hat with something firm inside – it ended up drooping a lot when I wore it. It was fine at first, but as it got warm in the summer heat, the material relaxed.


These are styrofoam balls painted with nail polish.


The bone necklace is also craft foam.



Schmendrick Cosplay

One of our cosplay choices for Dragon Con 2014 was a couple of characters from The Last Unicorn, Schmendrick and Mommy Fortuna.

My husband agreed to dress as Schmendrick the Magician. I loosely followed a pattern (Simplicity 4059 Renaissance Costume Collection) to get the general shape down. I I hand-dyed the fuzz on the shoulders (I think it was just white fur from Michael’s). And for the hat, I used Simplicity 1582 and didn’t add a brim. I added pockets for his convenience, and the leggings are store-bought. The nose is a “sultan style” prosthetic, and we added some Ben Nye makeup to try to blend it his face.






Kitten and a Holiday Quilt


We found Raoul in July 2014 in our neighborhood when driving home after watching a World Cup match. He was emaciated, dehydrated, and covered in fleas. It took a couple of days to nurse him to the point of acting like a normal kitten – he wanted constant human contact to ease his achy belly.


This was the day he figured out how to climb on my desk and “help” me sew.


This was made from a few charm packs – Solstice by Kate Spain.


It took me a few months to finish this one, as I worked on it casually between other projects. No hurry since it was meant to be a holiday gift.

Helping with the quilt sandwich

I step away for a moment and come back to this!

See how he’s growing?

He always jumps into the picture immediately! Nice coincidence that he was wearing holiday clothes, too.