Happy at Home


It’s wonderful to see something you’ve made in its new home.  Here’s Kaori’s Hugs and Kisses quilt at her place in Chiba, Japan!

The Hugs and Kisses Quilt at Kaori's House

She liked it so much, she hung it on the wall where she could see it all the time. I love that!

Part of the magic of making a quilt for someone is how it adds to the connection you already have with that person.  I thought of Kaori so much as I constructed each block and chose things that would make her smile.  And now she has a reminder of me that makes her so happy.  Now I know that when I (someday!) get the chance to visit her in Japan, I’ll feel right at home.  :)



Lava Meets Sea: Two Color Entry in the Blogger’s Quilt Festival


Lava Meets Sea Quilt Tilted

An online blogger/friend suggested I enter my Lava Meets Sea quilt in the Blogger Quilt Festival on Amy’s Creative Side in the Two Color category.  So even though I’m kind of a new quilter (maybe three years?) and nervous about entering, I’ll give it a try!

Lava Meets Sea Quilt Porch Swing

This quilt was a gift to my best friend and her now husband.  I wanted to use fabric to represent the joining of two hearts, two lives, and two families.  They have six children between them, so their October 5th wedding was as much about the blending of families as it was about their commitment to each other.  I wanted a way to show that differences could work beautifully together.

Lava Meets Sea Finished

I started off with a very different design in mind, but as I thought about what I wanted to show, I realized that a half square triangle quilt in a “diamonds and rings” layout would be perfect.  It allows the colors to flow together without losing their own pattern.  In fact it just makes it stronger, reinforces it.

Lava Meets Sea Quilt Black Binding

I named the quilt “Lava Meets Sea” because when the result is rock solid.  That’s got to be a good foundation for a marriage too, right?

Lava Meets Sea Quilt

So here’s my entry, and I hope you liked it.  If you want to try making a similar quilt, I wrote up some tips about how I made this one.  Thank you so much!



The Healing Quilt


Healing Quilt

My lovely niece Alexis requested this quilt after learning that the father of two of her good friends at school had been diagnosed with leukemia.  We worked together to come up with a design we liked.  She wanted something simple, in part because we wanted to work quickly, and it needed to be suitable for a man.  I set up a Etsy favorites list with sample fabrics and possible quilt designs and we texted back and forth with ideas.  We chose a Quiltcon bundle of fabrics, which I’ll try to link here once the shop is back from vacation.  The colors are bright and happy, and not “girly”.  We started with a plan of cheerfully random half square triangles, and I started cutting and sewing.

As I was sewing, I prayed for him and thought about him sitting under the quilt.  I started to imagine our prayers laying over him, and realized I could make a border of gray along the sides and let the riot of colors in the middle visually represent our prayers.  When he lays under the quilt, the colors will cover his body, so he can see our prayers for his health.  My niece liked the idea, so our random quilt became more focused and found its name, the Healing quilt.

Healing Quilt Porch Swing

I explained the situation to my quilt shop and asked if it were possible to get “rush quilting” done.  I was told they do let emergency quilts jump the line — who knew there were emergency quilts?! — and so this has become my 30th quilt instead of Kaori’s Hugs and Kisses quilt.  The quilt shop was finished in one week, and it took only 30 days from the day Alexis asked me to make a quilt to the day I handed it to her.  (Previously unheard of from this full time working Mom!)

So the quilt is off to its new owner in Tennessee.  I don’t know if he’ll realize the backing was picked because it’s the colors of the University of Tennessee at Knoxville, where his kids attend school with Alexis.  (I also threw in just a few extra orange and white half square triangles, not an obvious amount but maybe just enough to ensure that a true fan might feel drawn to the quilt.)  I do hope this will help him see that he is loved and cherished, and that many, many people are hoping he’ll soon be well again.

And just because I couldn’t help it, I took a picture of the Healing quilt with my not-quite-finished dining room wall.  I pulled many of the colors in the wall directly from the quilt fabrics.

Healing Quilt and Herringbone WallThey’re just happy colors, aren’t they?  I hope that helps, too.  Thank you for asking me to help, Alexis!  I love how it turned out and it was great to plan a quilt together.  :)


Samurai-ish Quilt for Dad


Dad's Quilt Ready to Bind

I finally got my Dad’s “Samurai-ish” quilt back from the quilt shop!  (We had quite a delay because my backing was inches too short and they forgot to call me.  Oops for both of us!)  It’s made from mostly Parson Gray’s Curious Nature line and some random semi-solids from the quilt shop.  Parson Gray’s fabrics are GORGEOUS!  They’re masculine without beating you over the head about it, and somehow have a Japanese vibe to me.  I’m not imagining it, my friend Kaori who is Japanese said they looked like Samurai fabrics, so she named the quilt.  Kaori’s daughter Anna spent a summer with us and my Dad (“Pop” to Anna and his other granddaughters) just loved her, so it’s nice to connect them to the quilt, too.

Another detail about the quilt: it’s made from 3.5″ squares and NO strip piecing.  I really love my Dad.

I spent the weekend doing binding.  I love a scrappy binding, so I added white and paler blue in the upper left corner.


Then for the first time I attempted to sew the binding entirely by machine.


I’ve always taken the time to stitch down the back by hand, which leaves invisible stitches.  I love the look, but I give my quilts as gifts and time … well, sometimes there’s just not as much of it as I’d like.  So I decided it’s OK to try sewing down the binding by machine, especially since this one is a queen sized quilt (huge!) and is completely free to the new owner.  So a little practicing shouldn’t hurt too much, right?

The black thread almost disappears on dark fabrics, but is really visible against the white.

Samurai-ish Binding Blue

Samurai-ish Binding White

Still, I don’t hate it and it saved me weeks worth of hand sewing … so I’m likely to stick with it.  I’ve seen another method that works to hide the stitches along the front of the quilt, I may try that one with the next quilt.  (I keep telling myself that if I hand someone a handmade quilt, they really aren’t that likely to quibble with me over my binding methods, are they?)

As I said, this one’s for Dad, so he’s getting a cross quilt to go along with the cross quilt I made for his granddaughter (my niece), Alexis.  My Mom also got a cross quilt.  I just like the idea of them connecting back in some way to Alexis.  Her parents, my brother and my sister-in-law, got a quilt made from the left over fabrics in Alexis’ quilt.

Samurai-ish Quilt


For some reason this quilt just never wants to photograph well.  I’ll try again when it’s in place on Dad’s bed.


WIP: Just More Sewing


Yeesh, what a morning!  My vacuum cleaner has given up and my email was hacked.  I also realize I haven’t shown much of my sewing progress here lately, so I thought I’d pull a few photos from Instagram to share here.  (I’m coopcrafts there if you want to be friends.  :) )  Sometimes working on a quilt takes up all my crafting time, but progress is measured slowly and it seems like I’m just showing the same thing, over and over again.  I like the process but worry that it makes for tedious posts.  Instagram makes me feel like it’s OK to share those in-the-moment bits.

Needed More Blues

Messy Process

I Get By with a Little Help from My Friends

Lava Meets Sea

Lava Meets Sea in Progress

This one is for my best friend and I can’t wait to see it finished!  I think it may be my favorite quilt yet.

OK, I think I need a bit more coffee and maybe for nothing else to break for a while.