Kaori’s Hugs and Kisses Quilt


Kaori's Hugs and Kisses Quilt Porch

Kaori’s Hugs and Kisses quilt is back from the quilt shop!  I understand a little better now about the long wait to get a quilt back since they let “emergency quilts” (like the Healing quilt) jump the quilting line, but it still so hard to wait to see the quilting.  I could really see the time involved when I compared the trees in these pictures:

Time Passes While the Quilt is at the Quilt ShopSo it’s back, and now it’s gone, on it’s way to Kaori!  Kaori and I have been through a lot together.  We met online and have been penpals for I think about thirteen years.  We’ve gone from being Moms of small children to Moms of adults and teens, we’ve celebrated and mourned together, worried and laughed together.  She even sent her oldest daughter Anna to live with us for a summer!  We dream of one day visiting each other and doing wonderfully ordinary everyday things in each other’s company, because we’ve been side by side so many times in our imaginations.

When I first decided I should learn to quilt, I  made three little “trial” quilts.  Kaori received this one from me because it features wild animals that live here in West Virginia.

Kaori's Quilt

I learned basic quilt construction, including scary binding, and Kaori got a tiny little quilt.  I still get to see it in pictures from her house, with her cat, bunny, kids, husband and self all around it.  So it’s no wonder that when I got better at quilting, I wanted her to have a “real” one.

Kaori's Quilt Yellow Leaves

I found a tutorial for a quilt called Hugs and Kisses at Little Miss Shabby and thought it was a wonderful start.  I wanted to make a scrappy quilt  so she could have a taste of “ordinary life” through my fabrics, but I also threw in a layer cake of Honey Honey by Kate Spain for Moda.  The addition of these fabrics let me kind of choose a happy color palate while still keeping the “throw it all in there” feel to the quilt.

Kaori's Hugs and Kisses Quilt Detail

A fun thing about this quilt is that I got to use fabrics Kaori sent me!  So it was a gift from her to me, that became a gift from me to her … and fabrics that traveled from Japan to West Virginia got to travel back home and bring their friends, too.  Sometimes we are jealous of how easily “stuff” can visit back and forth!

Kaori's Hugs and Kisses Quilt Edge

This Hugs and Kisses design also felt right for Kaori because she has a trellis on her balcony, and I see the shape of it as much as I see X’s and O’s.  :)

When my Mom visited while I was sewing blocks, she pointed out that she recognized the fabrics that she’d given me, that they seemed to “pop” right off the quilt to be noticed.  I feel that way about all my fabrics, too, that feeling of recognition.  This makes a scrappy quilt all that more personal, I think.  And with many of the fabrics, I also think of a person who received something from that fabric, like I can’t see the fabric without connecting that person to it in my mind.  So I feel like I’m sending little bits of friends and family to Kaori, too.  Since we share many friends and know each other’s families, this seems just right.

Kaori's Hugs and Kisses Quilt Left Corner

So until the day when I can visit her myself, I hope she will enjoy the company of her new quilt and know that I count her as a friend as well as family!


An Ombre Baby Quilt: Ansley’s Diamonds


Ansley's Diamonds Texture

Lucy and Chad are having a baby.  This means that Skylar is going to be a big sister, so when I made a baby quilt, I saved the leftover squares and made a little doll quilt for the soon-to-be big sister.  While Mom takes care of baby, Skylar can be right beside her, caring for her own little beanie baby, or whatever toddlers play with now.

Finished Ansley's Diamonds and Skylar's Quilt

While the baby quilt looks like squares on point, it’s actually made from the exact same hourglass blocks in the doll quilt, just arranged differently.  The tops are pieced from just two yards of ombre fabrics, one in green and one in pink.  I wanted the colors to flow in opposite directions, so it moves from dark green/light pink to light green/dark pink.  I love the effect!  Sometimes it even seems that the colors are “floating” one over the other.  If you want the same fabrics, I used Simply Color by V and Co. for Moda.  (Click the link to view the ombre jelly rolls — someday I MUST get my hands on one!  How gorgeous is that?!  I may need an aqua and gray quilt of my own … )

And oh, the crinkle!

Ansley's Diamonds Baby Quilt

This fabric was a joy!  And now that Ansley’s little diamond quilt is finished, it’s time to move on to new/old projects.  Thankfully, it just never seems to end!


Jelly Roll Curtains


Circa 1934 Jelly Roll Curtains

A “jelly roll” is a roll of fabrics that contains at least one print of each fabric in a collection, cut into long skinny strips, 2.5″ x 44″.  There are usually 40 different prints in a roll, but often some prints will be duplicated.  When I saw the Circa 1934 fabrics, I instantly wanted to use them in my kitchen.  Well, I wanted to use them in my future kitchen.  The one where I’ve already painted the cabinets quilter’s white, the counter tops are NOT cracked tile, and the backsplash is jewel-like, shimmery tiles … or maybe they’re pressed tin.  Or something I haven’t thought of yet.  Anyway, in my mind this fabric is a perfect fit for what will be.  Since it was the easiest, most affordable part of the planned changes, I went for it even though it’s not the best fit for my kitchen today.

The pre-cut jelly roll strips made this a very quick project.  I measured the window, figured out how many strips I needed for the width on each side, then cut the strips long enough to hem at the top and the bottom.  (My window is 36″ tall.  I cut the strips 40″ long to allow for neatening up the ends and hemming.)

Then, sew.

Circa 1934 Jelly Roll Curtains

After I had the strips sewn together, I ironed the seams flat and top stitched along them.

Circa 1934 Jelly Roll Curtains

This makes the fronts look nice and neat, and it also cleaned up the backs.  Since I decided not to line the curtains, this seemed important to me.  (I love the way the colors glow when the early morning sun shines through the window.)

Circa 1934 Jelly Roll Curtains

The top and bottom are just turned under and hemmed, then held up with clip-style curtain rings.  With the little clips, you don’t have to fuss with making a rod pocket — just sew a plain rectangle for your curtain and you’re good to go.  How easy is that?

Circa 1934 Jelly Roll Curtains

Bonus: I have plenty of fabrics left in the roll to make a few kitchen accessories, too!

A Quilt to Dream On

She Did It!

In huge news, our older daughter graduated high school!  I loved seeing her walk across that stage!  I’m so proud of her and her friends, and all of the hard work it was for them to get there.  (Let’s pretend for a moment that my husband was looking at the right camera.)

And it really was hard.  The last few weeks have been so stressful.  For her and for me, for lots of reasons.

I deal with stress by sewing.  And sometimes by napping.  (And also by snapping at people and eating too much, but we’ll concentrate on the crafty bit since this is a crafty kind of blog.)  So over the weekend I managed to take a good long nap.  I slept on a pillow I backed using a bit of an old sheet that used to belong to my Grandma.  That pillow is like the Comfort Food of Home Decor.  I lay my head on it and have visions of morning glories, the pumpkin patch, a sparkling creek and blue skies.  I can hear Grandma’s voice again and feel her unconditional love.  And suddenly the stress is easier to take.

I woke from that nap thinking of the quilt I’d started months before, meaning to use the rest of Grandma’s sheet as a backing.

Well, things hadn’t gone well with that quilt.  No matter how I worked with it, I kept pinching bits of the sheet in the quilting.  I’d undo it and try again, and eventually I just gave up.  I wanted it to be perfect.

Months later, there I was, S-T-R-E-S-S-E-D, and the nap with “Grandma’s pillow” had made me feel so much better.  Even with so many demands on my time, suddenly I just had to have that quilt I hadn’t finished.  And I didn’t care about silly pinches.  Unconditional love doesn’t complain about a few pinches in the backing of a quilt, does it?

Dream On Quilt

I finished the quilt in record time (hooray, nervous energy!) and it did pinch the backing like crazy.  Somehow though, after the crinkly quilting magic of the washer and dryer, the pinches are barely noticeable.  Why did I wait so long?

My daughter and her friends graduated.  I have a quilt that feels like a hug from Grandma.  It’s all good.

Quilt Approved!

Aslan has approved of this quilt and would like to nap on it now, thankyouverymuch.

The front was made from charm squares from Moda’s Dream On collection, which was inspired by sheet patterns from the 70s and totally made sense of the whole Grandma’s-sheet-as-backing kind of thing.  And now, let’s get this summer started!

Blissed Out Tumbler Quilt


Bliss Quilt

I finished my tumbler quilt!  See how the design kind of looks like a drinking glass shape?  When I decided to make this quilt, I searched online for a template to cut the tumbler blocks.  No joy.  But I did find super simple instructions for making a template using the cardboard backing from the charm squares packs at Moda Bake Shop.  (Thankfully I was using three packs of charms so I had three cardboard pieces.  They cut as easily as the fabric and I was zipping right along!)

This is my fourth quilt, and I keep finding myself preferring the backs.  You know, the side that didn’t take all that work cutting and piecing and pressing, and I keep liking it better anyway.

Back of the Bliss Quilt

I may need to make a very plain quilt to keep for myself.

Fabrics are Bliss by Moda.