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).

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.






Suey, My Unphotogenic Muse

As a veterinarian, of course I love dogs. But I always considered myself to be a “cat person” until I lived with this amazing little guy.

My husband had wanted a Chinese Crested for many many years, and I thought it was a silly idea. Hairless dog? Gross! I knew a few Mexican Hairless dogs who were not very attractive, and they had lots of weird health issues.

However, I eventually supported his decision, and we adopted Suey when he was 8 weeks old. He stole my heart quickly, and now I can’t imagine life without him. His joy for life is inspirational to me. I think he makes me a better doctor for my patients, too – he taught me to truly appreciate the bond between dogs and their people.

He doesn’t really have to wear clothes, but he likes to. When the AC is on inside, he tends to shiver if he’s naked. He has allergies, too, so he’s prone to making a mess of his skin when he has a flare-up. The clothes help to protect him from scratching so much that he gets secondary bacterial infections.

This outfit is still one of my favorites that I’ve made for him. One of his nicknames is “Monkee,” so it amuses me to dress him in monkey-themed fabrics. The turtle neck collar I improvised on this one makes for such a cozy fit, and it’s just so sweet on him.

Here he is wearing the same outfit on a chilly morning in the Blue Ridge Mountains.

My favorite fabric for making his clothes so far is fleece. It’s thick and some of the seams can be tricky to maneuver in the machine, but overall the fabric is very forgiving. I love that the seams and hems don’t require a lot of work.

I also love that I can go to my local fabric store, Hancock, and rummage in their fabric remnant bin to find lots of cute fleece pieces. It takes less than a yard of fabric to make something for Suey, and I can usually find a big variety of fleece remnants that are perfect for this. They typically only cost $1-3 since they’re leftover bits from someone else’s purchase.

Here’s a few more fabric pieces I’ve done for him:

This was from a new pattern, and it was awful! Whoever designed the hood for it clearly wasn’t thinking about dog heads. This one went into the scrap pile.

I designed my own hood for this one – much better! And there’s my husband wearing some pajama pants I made for him out of old bed sheets.

This one was a gift for a friend’s dog.

Learning to Make Dog Clothes

When I took that sewing class at a local university in summer of 2013, my main goal was to learn how to make clothes for Suey, my hairless Chinese Crested. Here’s a few samples from my initial journey.

All of the fabrics for these are either fabric remnants from my local fabric store (cheap!) or repurposed old human clothes from my closet.

This is the very first outfit I made for him, and it was also the first thing I completed using a pattern. It was a little too small for him, so this is the only time he wore this one.

Here’s the second attempt, also using fleece. I used the large instead of the medium size pattern, and the fit was much better.

I used one of my husband’s old shirts to make this one, loosely following a pattern for a shirt. This material was way too flimsy for an active dog, and it shredded quickly.

This one is in flannel. Cute, but this fabric is also not sturdy enough for Suey. He has allergies and can be pretty itchy sometimes. He tore a hole in the back very quickly, and the fabric just doesn’t give enough.

This was a different shirt pattern. Cute and cozy, but the fit was all wrong. I tried a zig zag stitch around the edge of this one – not too thrilled with that effect, but part of that was my inability to sew a straight/consistent line at this point.

The accessory “flower” didn’t last long on this one. It came off the first time he played rough with the other dog.

This pattern is definitely my favorite, but I don’t like the collar design on it, so I’ve learned to modify it every time I use it. This was an experiment with a big 70’s collar.

And lastly, a toy I made with some of that remnant fleece. The dogs happily destroyed it pretty quickly.

Lots more clothes to come…

Goth Baby Quilt

When I found out one of my oldest, dearest friends and his wife were expecting a baby, I was thrilled to have the opportunity to make my first baby quilt. Plus there was the added challenge of making a Goth style quilt for the baby of a well-known Goth model/celebrity.

I browsed fabrics in black, purple, and grey on, and I picked a few that I thought might go ok together. I didn’t follow a pattern, but I decided to cut my fabric into 5″ squares like a charm pack in order to showcase the fabrics somewhat. I was trying for a more modern look as opposed to scrappy.

Knowing that the expecting parents lived with 2 black cats, I thought the fabrics were especially appropriate.

Fabrics include Oddities Cats, Magic Meows in Purple by Alexander Henry, and Foxtrot Purple from the Michael Miller Norwegian Woods collection. I can’t remember the name of the skeleton chandelier fabric. The Norwegian Woods pieces are a little pinker than I wanted, but I thought the fabric was so cute and helped to soften the whole thing up some. The black fabric strips are from a Moda jelly roll.

Brain, my ever present helper

making a Goth baby quilt in my sparkly corner

cutting fabric strips for the binding

Hand sewing the binding. I used this adorable fabric called “Oddities Cats” for the backing.

I found it very difficult to photograph the finished product – the colors just never seemed to look quite right with any lighting I used. So here’s a variety… 🙂

I used leftover fabric to make a matching pillow case for the gift wrap.