Category Archives: Project

May Bee Adventurous: Maple Leaf Foundation paper piecing block


When I was a child, I used to visit my Grammy and Grampy in Saint John, NB.  My Grammy had a maple leaf quilt on her guest bedroom and I loved that quilt.  My Grammy died a few years ago, and my aunt got the Maple Leaf quilt, but I never stopped thinking about it.  I’ve wanted to recreate it for years, but I could never quite find the right leaf shape.  Hers looked like a real flag leaf, not the stylized half-square triangle leaves I’ve seen online.


Recently I saw a scrappy, multi-colored version here, and that got me going to try and find the leaf I was looking for.   I found an image of the leaf and traced it in EQ7, and broke it down into manageable pieces.   I still want it to be all red, not multi-colored like hers, but it was the inspiration to get me going again.

Now that it’s my month for the BeeAdventurous bee of the LAMQG, I’d like you to make me two maple leaves so I can re-create my Grammy’s quilt.  Thank you for helping me make this quilt that I’ve had in mind for so long.

There are tons of foundation paper piecing tutorials online, so you can search for a tute or a video online to show you how to do it if you aren’t familiar with the technique.  This one is really good, but requires you make a copy of the pattern and cut it up, but otherwise the instructions are great. Here’s another with some good tips, too.

IMG_1533 IMG_1555


I broke this down into manageable pieces to make it easier to assemble.

The basics:

  • Cut out the shapes A-G on the thin lines.  You will sew on the thick lines.  It helps to actually separate the pieces rather than trying to sew them all to the full size sheet of paper and trim up later.
  • You place the fabric on the non-printed side of the paper, so you may need to hold it up to a light to get the placement right.
  • You sew from the printed side of the paper.
  • The shaded areas are where you use a red fabric, and the clear areas are where you use the white fabric.
  • Piece number 1 is always facing away from the page (or up), and each subsequent piece faces toward the page (or down), always on the non-printed side of the paper.  I actually basted my piece 1 with a few stitches so I wouldn’t forget to put it on the right way.  You can also use a glue stick to tack it down.
  • Make sure that each piece covers the seam allowance and the center of the piece.
  • After each seam is sewn, fold the paper back along the seam you just sewed. Place your ruler with the 1/4″ line on the folded back paper edge, and trim off outside the seam allowance, leaving a 1/4 inch, just like normal piecing.  This is necessary to avoid bulkiness and complications in later piecing.   I almost always forget the last seam, so try and remember it!
  • Use a shorter stich length, 2.0 or less. I usually use a 1.8.  I don’t want the stitches to pull out at the end when I remove the papers, and the shorter stitch length means the papers will rip off easier.
  • Please don’t use steam – I printed on an inkjet printer and it may stain the fabric if you press with steam.  That being said, I usually finger press as I go, and give each segment a good press before joining them together.
  • In one of my test blocks, I pieced the fabric for some areas.  If you need to do that, feel free.  It will make for a scrappier block.  Also, if you have some great red fabric you’d like to add, I would love that!
  • If you run out of fabric, just do what you can with what you have – I can always add more in later.
  • Please try to use all of the red fabric; don’t use the same fabric more than once in the same block.
  • When joining the completed sections to each other, it’s really helpful to put pins in the intersections and along the seam to make sure you don’t lose any fabric or wobble out of the seam allowance.  When joining sections, it helps to press the seams open since the paper is in there.
  • You can click on any of the photos in this post to see them full size.

Starting with section A, you just put your largest piece of fabric on the back of that piece and put it aside until you join it together.  Baste it right to the paper for a more stable assembly later, and for trimming it.  (This image shows the piece I made by joining two fabrics.  You don’t have to do this.)



Section B starts with a small red piece and a larger white piece.












Section C is a little more complicated that section B.   Start with pieces 1 and 2 and trim before adding piece 3.














Sections D and E are similar to section B in their piecing.


IMG_1538 IMG_1542











Sections F and G are the most complicated sections, and they are really not that hard, just start with piece 1 facing up, then lay piece 2 face down, making sure it covers all of section 2 when you fold it back.  Sew the seam on the line between 1 and 2, fold #2 back to make sure it covers the whole area, then fold it back over area 1 and trim off all but the 1/4” seam allowance.



Keep going in numerical order, adding the next piece face down, checking and trimming until the whole section is done.

When all of the sections are done, lay out your sections in the leaf shape.


Join section C to B.

Join A to the top of BC


Join E to G and join F to D.


Join ABC to EG.  This is where the pinning intersections comes in really handy.  I also pinned along the seam allowance to make sure nothing escaped out the sides of the paper.




Join ABCEG to FD.  Here’s the back of the block and you can see the seams are pressed open.


You’re done block 1!  It should measure 12.5″, but if it’s a little shy or ragged, don’t worry, I plan to shave the blocks down to the same size all around.

Please make two blocks.

If you need to print out a new template, you’ll find it here:  Maple Leaf.  It prints on US Legal paper (8.5 x 14″).

Thank you!





Last week, my husband came home from picking up my daughter from school and informed me that my lovely daughter had flushed another child’s mittens down the toilet.
So, I went to my daughter’s room and found the mittens I had made for her last year (and she had never worn) and informed her that she would be giving them to her friend at school, since she no longer had mittens. You would have thought I had ripped her hair out from the howling that followed. After a loooong night and morning, we brought her to school and I had her ask her teacher to put the mittens aside for when the other child arrived, and for her to ask my daughter to give them to the other child. She wasn’t happy about it, but she did it.
Now, for the past few days, it’s been in the 30F in the morning, which is pretty unusual around here, and my daughter has no mittens. I took her to the store and we picked out some fleece and put it in my studio and forgot about it for a few days while I thought about pyjamas and then the pretty dress from yesterday.
This morning, it was cold again, and as we got in the car for school, my daughter immediately removed her coat and then started howling again, this time because she wanted to wear gloves. She doesn’t have any gloves and we did the opera of “I wanted to wear gloves” “You don’t have any gloves, buckle your seat belt” back and forth until I got out of the car to insist. Once she calmed down, I reminded her of the fleece and told her I’d make her some mittens tonight after supper.
So I did.


Oh, and if you think I exaggerate about the nudist comments – on Saturday, my husband came back from his run in sweats and hat and gloves to find me in sweats and hoodie in our 60F house, and there was my daughter in a bikini. “What are you wearing?” my husband asked. “I’m a Bubble Guppy” (a nick jr. mermaid show). “I’m choosing my battles today”, I said. “OK, but if CPS shows up, you handle this” he said to me.

New Year, new dress.

I don’t know when I last posted, but it was a long time ago. Whatever.

I was planning to make some pajamas for LaLa and got the pattern all cut out and was about to cut the fabric when… yikes! I realized that the flannel I was planning to use has not been pre-washed. That could have been a big waste of time, money, and fabric. Instead, I threw the fabric in the wash and then was sulking a bit in need of instant gratification.

I looked through the book I was using for the pjs, and found a dress that looked cute, and I knew I had the fabric for it, and that it was pre-washed.

I had bought this fabric when LaLa was about 2, but never had a pattern for what I wanted, which was a floral bodice and the stripy skirt. I’m not confident enough in garment sewing to wing it, so I just stashed the fabric

So I found the pattern today. It’s from Weekend Sewing by Heather Ross and its called the Flower Girl Dress. I had a lot of problems with the pattern, but I went from start to finish in 3 hours, including removing the bodice, redrafting it a bit larger, and remaking it. Not bad!


I did have LaLa try it on, and she wants to wear it tomorrow, even though its been in the 40s here. She’s a bit of a nudist, or at least loves to wear dresses if she wears anything at all.


Friendship Supernova

I don’t know, sounds like a good name for this block, right?  It’s like an exploded Friendship Star.


May is my month for the Seams Perfect -  A Modern Scrap Bee and it really snuck up on me.  I had been mulling around a bunch of different blocks when I saw this one on Saturday.  It was in a photo album on a Yahoo group and the woman who made the quilt said it was made out of jelly rolls.  I really liked the layout but a quick look told me it was a 7-grid block, and 7x jelly roll (2 inches finished) would make a 14 inch block.  So, I opened up EQ7 and drafted it out and they came out to 2-1/4 inch strips for this block.  That’s all fine and dandy, but that means all the other measurements are a little odd too.

But don’t panic, I’ve laid out the whole thing and if I can do it without making a mess, you can too. 

Here’s how you make it. 

You need three prints and one solid.

  • Cut a WOF x 2-1/4 inch strip of Color A (Blue)
  • Cut a WOF x 2-1/4 inch strip of Color B (Green)
  • Cut a 2-1/4 x 2-1/4 inch square of Color C (Purple)
  • Cut a 16 x 2-1/4 inch strip of solid (White)
  • and an 18 x 2-5/8 inch strip of solid (White)

Cut the fabrics into these pieces:

  • Sub-cut Color A into 4 strips 5-5/8 inches long, and 4 strips 3-7/8 inch long. 
  • Sub cut the 2-1/4 inch solid strip into 4 strips 3-7/8 inch long. 
  • Sub cut the  2-5/8 inch solid strip into 6 squares, 2-5/8 x 2-5/8. 

With Color B, you need to cut 45 degree angles, so use a ruler with a 45 degree angle line on it. 

Cut the strip in half, and stack both strips right side up on top of each other.  If you don’t do this, half of your pieces will be going the wrong way. 

Measure 4-1/4 inch from the right side and mark it on the bottom of the strip.  DSC_5120

Line up the 45 degree line along the bottom edge of the strip, and cut along the side of the ruler to the top of the strip. That makes 2 chisel shapes. 


Next, measure 4-1/8 from the bottom where you just cut, line up the 45 degree angle again, and cut. 


That makes 2 parallelograms.


Repeat with 2 more paralellograms, then measure 4-1/4 inches from the cut line along the top of the strip, and cut straight down to create 2 more chisel shapes. 


You can discard the remaining Color B. 

Sub-cut the 6 solid squares in half on the diagonal to create 12 Half-Square Triangles.


The remaining pieces are all rectangles as described above, so I didn’t photograph them.


Lay the triangles on the chisels as shown.  You should have a dog ear on the short side of the chisel.


With the parallelograms, lay the triangles the same way – with the edge and hypotenuse aligned, and a dog ear on the opposite side. 


Sew with a 1/4 inch seam allowance.  If you start at the point, you should cross the dog ear.  Hopefully you should be able to see what I mean in the photo. 


Press toward the color on both the chisels and the parallelograms. 


Cut off your dog ears for easier sewing to the next pieces. 

Lay out your shapes to get your bearings.


Lay the solid on the chisel piece, and sew along the long side of the chisel. 


Press towards the darker color.  Keep building out, log cabin style, pressing towards the color. 

DSC_5137 DSC_5138



Sew each of the four corner quadrants and lay it all out again to get your bearings. 

Sew the horizontal parallelograms to the quadrants below them.  


Sew the center square to the parallelogram below it.


Sew the center/parallelogram to the corner quadrant on the right.


Press open and sew the left corner quadrant to the center/parallelogram. 


You can see above that my piecing wasn’t perfect. If you need to square up the corner quadrants, they should measure 5-5/8 inches square, which is the length of the longer Color A piece. 


That looks much better after I trimmed of that piece.


Join the top two corner quadrants to the remaining parallelogram piece in the center.


Join the top and bottom pieces together.


Ta da!


Pretty close to 12-1/2 inches square!


Don’t freak if yours doesn’t come out perfect, I’ll put sashing between the blocks so there’s room for error.  I’m actually amazed mine worked out so well!

Christmas making 2010 – Part 1 – La La


Since my layoff in October, I’ve been working on Christmas gifts for my daughter and her cousins.  This post is a roundup of what I made for La La. 

Since turning two this year, I’ve noticed, and her teachers at day care have also observed that she’s been enjoying being a little mommy to her baby dolls. Her teacher has sent photos of her giving her baby a bath with the other kids and here she is way back in March helping her baby to go to sleep. 


At home too, I’ve observed her putting her babies in my shoes like little cradles, putting her babies to sleep on pillows and patting them to sleep, and leaving the room with the white noise machine on and some music so they will fall asleep easily.  (This is her routine, white noise and nature sounds, although recently she switched to music instead). 


She then tells daddy and me to be quiet so her babies can sleep. Yia Yia gave her a bottle for the baby she gave her last Christmas, and she plays with that a lot too. 

Since she has been such the little mommy, I thought I’d give her some tools to help in her play. 

I found this great tutorial for making all kinds of pretend-play toys and this set was perfect:  a diaper bag, wipes, and diapers, sized for the baby doll she got for Christmas last year from Yia Yia.  I actually didn’t make the diapers exactly the same, but used her pattern as a guide for cutting the fabric.  I also didn’t make her doll bassinet and changing pad, because I already had a bassinet of my own in the works and I also made a quilt for the doll, and I didn’t want to go crazy with all the other stuff I was making. 

So, here’s the diaper bag.


And the wipes.  So clever, you can fold them so they pop up!  I used blue felt because all of our wipes come from Costco and come in blue packages, so it’s more realistic.


Here’s the quilt.  It looks like I pieced the whole thing, but it was actually a cheater with space between the 2.5" squares.  I had bought the fabric thinking it would be perfect for 1" hexagons, but I used a little bit for this quilt.  I used the method described here, but of course without the interfacing. 

DSC_4810 DSC_4812

Here’s the bassinet.  I started this back in July.  It’s all hand stitched and hand quilted.  I had to figure out how to make it curve at the ends, which I did by using hexagons, pentagons and diamonds.  It’s lined with white cotton over a piece of batting I got in a sampler at the quilt festival over the summer. 

DSC_4816 DSC_4817 DSC_4813

I really learned a lot while doing the hand quilting – though mainly I learned that it’s a slow process and you really can make better progress when you have the right tools.  I broke one embroidery hoop before I ended up buying a quilting hoop, and tried several different needles before settling on the smallest ones I could find, size 12. 

In addition to that stuff, the mom of one of her cousins asked for new clothes for the dolls I made them last Christmas because they really enjoy playing with the dolls.  So I made clothes for all the dolls, including La La’s. 

I made this top and skirt with fabric that has all these "T" words, describing two year olds.  I only have a year to use the fabric, so now’s the time. 


I also used that fabric to bind her quilt, since it matched the purple nicely.


I made this t-shirt, and a jumper out of corduroy.  I haven’t really sewn with knits before, and discovered that the right tools make all the difference again – mainly the right needle for knits really helped. 


Next up is a pair of pajamas made of flannel, with coordinating cuffs.


Also, I forgot to photograph them, but I made her baby some new shoes out of vinyl, so they look like brown leather shoes. 

Over all, I think La La really liked everything, but the things I see her playing with most are the wipes and the bassinet, which she seems to think is a changing pad.  That’s ok, as long as she has fun playing with it, that’s all that matters to me. 


She got the same baby this year from her Grammy, and was very excited to have two of the same baby – "Sisters!" she said.  So now she has two diapers to change whenever one of them ‘poops’ as she likes to tell me.  🙂

Freezer Paper

I happened upon this yesterday and with perfect timing.

The Train To Crazy: Using Freezer Paper to cut out patterns {a tutorial}.

With Christmas coming, and my unemployment coming in less than 3 weeks, I’ve been thinking about what I can do to make a homemade xmas again this year.

Last year I made the wonderful Wee Wonderfuls dolls for my daughter and the cousins.  This year, the 5 yo girl cousin is in need of some clothes for that doll, and her Groovy Girls and maybe something coming from Santa that is about 18″ tall (wink), and I’ve got plenty of interesting fabric so I know I can make a nice good bunch of outfits.  Maybe matching for all three dolls?

Anyway, I’ve got one sewing pattern already, and was thinking about it over the weekend.  Last night I saw Andrea’s posting in my google reader and thought, “hmm, interesting idea, but I never use patterns”.  Um.  Yeah.

So, I had a good night’s sleep last night, La La didn’t wake up before the alarm, which is always a good thing, so I guess my brain was able to make the connection that I missed when reading it last night.

I got the little lamp out of La La’s room and took the shade off and placed it under the coffee table. I opened up the pattern and got out my roll of freezer paper and a pen that I like and started tracing.

And quickly realized this was not going to work for me.   I was not comfortable all hunched over, there was too much detail on the pattern piece and I haven’t used a commercial pattern in so long, I wasn’t sure what was important.   But then I had an idea!

I’m a gadget girl, so I’ll use my gadgets!  I cut up my freezer paper into 8-1/2 x 11″ sheets, took the curl out with an iron, and then photocopied the pattern pieces onto the freezer paper.


Don’t you love the internet??

A crafty day

Do you watch Top Chef?  If you do, you know that they always get busted on deserts, and use the excuse “but I’m not a pastry chef”.

I am like some of the contestants, in that I cook, but I don’t bake.  For one, I’d probably be 100 lbs. heavier if I baked, but really, it’s because there is a precision in the chemistry of baking.  You have to measure, there are ratios of things (see, I don’t even know what things), and you have to know the chemistry of baking.  The way I cook, I might read through a recipe, but I rarely follow it, even the first time through.  I might not have all the ingredients, or it might call for cumin, which I don’t like, or there might not be enough garlic, so I improvise based on the idea of the original.

And sometimes, there isn’t even a recipe.  I might see something on TV and say, that sounds good, and then I’ll make my own version that might taste nothing like the TV version.  The problem with that, of course, is that nothing is measured or recorded, so if you come up with something really good, you can’t reproduce it.  🙁

In knitting, I pretty much do the same thing, although I do follow patterns for the most part, but once I’ve made something, I don’t follow the pattern much if I make it again.  Or even the first time, sometimes!  And if I am counting stitches and come up short, I’ll just M1 and get it balanced and move on.

I’m starting to think sewing is more like a pastry chef than a sous chef -type pursuit, and I really need to work on that.  Not necessarily in following a pattern, but in measuring, balancing, etc.

But anyway, here’s a case of the saw it on TV but didn’t write anything down, didn’t buy the pattern, didn’t measure, just winged it.   I’m new to quilting, but I can work my DVR, so I have been recording shows like Quilt in a Day and Fons and Porter.  On the latter, there was an episode where they made a bag out of pre-quilted fabric.  I looked on their web site to see if the pattern was available, but it wasn’t.  So, I just watched the episode again, and then I winged it.

Here’s the result:

Now, those of you who are pastry chefs will be all itchy over the crazy wobbly looking pockets, but I just pinned the pockets on and started sewing.  I didn’t know what I was doing, but it’s functional!

The inside has a divider, which is just a folded piece of fabric sewn into the side seams.  I thought that might help it be more stable when the ironing pad or mat is removed.  I have no idea if that will work, but I’ll get to test it out next weekend at the LAMQG weekend sew.

Since I used Amy Butler Love quilted fabric, I decided to link into the Sew & Tell and Amy Butler challenge on Amylouwho’s blog.  I guess I’ll have to wait for next week though, as I’m late for this week. I’m linked up now.  Go take a look and see what other Amy Butler goodness is being made. 

The other project is more of the ‘read the recipe, didn’t follow it’ type.

Over here, there’s a great tutorial on creating fabric baskets.   And I read it, but I wanted a longer basket for storing my large fabric scraps, and thought I might make a few and line them up all neat on my IKEA Billy bookcase, out of reach of my toddler.

So I decided to make my fabric 22 x 16, and cut out 5″ squares, so I’d have some charm squares out of the deal instead of wasting that fabric.  And I didn’t have the type of interfacing that she had, I had a much stiffer Pellon (70 maybe?).

So, with this wicked stiff pellon, it wasn’t that easy to sew around those really bulky corners.  I was wrestling and wrestling with it, and mumbling to myself that what the heck is free about a free arm when you can’t even wrangle the thing around the thing when I thought of the solution.  Hang the end of the machine off the table, and no more wrestling!

Here it is stuffed with the leftovers from La La’s quilt, plus the fabrics I’m planning to use for an Xmas tree quilt.

I wrapped the fabrics around my 4 1/2 inch square-up ruler, and they fit perfectly in the box.

I like the nice sharp corners.

It’s not as wobbly as it looks, it’s just full.

So that leads me to an ethical question.  When someone puts up a tutorial or a pattern and you use it for inspiration, I think it’s widely accepted that it’s OK to mention the inspiration and make your modifications and move on.  Sort of like open source software.  That’s what I plan to do with the green fabrics.  I plan to make a wall hanging inspired by the one posted on PurlBee last year.

But what if you are inspired by something that’s not a tutorial or free pattern, but is just a photo of a completed work or a pattern for sale?  Is that fair game in the same way?  What about software.  If you found a program online that does some cool stuff that you never thought of doing before, but instead of buying it, you write your own code to do the same thing.  Now that you have the idea, is that OK?   What if you don’t try to sell or give away the resulting software, but just use it yourself?

La La’s Birthday Quilt

So, a few months ago, I ordered this great stack of fabric from PurlSoho, which is local to me, even though the actual store is in NYC.  If you want to see more of the fabric, it’s page is here on the freespirit site.

California Dreamin' by Jenean Morrison for FreeSpirit

I also ordered this pattern from Carolina Patchworks.  It only calls for five fabrics (for the piecing).  I had 16.

{mini} Modern Rose Garden quilt pattern from Carolina Patchworks

I also have EQ7.

I mapped it out with my fabrics

So, I loaded up the fabric images from the FreeSpirit site and laid it out so I could get a good balance of color.  The scale is completely off and I didn’t bother to figure that out, I just wanted to get a harmonious layout, and I think I achieved that.

Ta Dot Lagoon by Michael Miller

I chose a fun polka dot binding that went well with the other colors on the fabric.   I found a shot cotton for the sashing – I think it’s Kaffe Fassett’s ‘Sprout’ color, but I forgot to check the label on that one.  Finally when we went on our field trip to Michael Levine, I found the backing – a turquoise Minky Dot.

La La relaxes with her new quilt.

It took me a while to find the right thread for the top and back, but I finally did find a good variegated top thread that went from orange to yellow to green.  And the bobbin thread was a perfect match for the minky, and I was on my way!

It's good for tumbling on.

I basted the heck out of it because I’d heard that the Minky stretches a lot. I didn’t actually have trouble with it stretching, but it sort of gripped my quilting table and it was hard to work with. Luckilly for me, I was at the LAMQG weekend sew and the Quilt Engineer was there with all of her tools and gadgets.  She loaned me her SewSlip II, which is a silicon pad that you put around the plate and over the quilt table to make a continuous slick surface.  This particular one has a rectangular hole so that the feed dogs can stay up for using the walking foot.   It was like night and day!  She also let me try her June Tailor Shape Cut ruler, and clued me into this binding foot.

Let me fluff it up a bit.

When I got home that night, I ordered the SewSlip II, a binding foot, a teflon foot, and a pintuck foot, because I hope I can finally make those last doll dresses where I got stuck on the pintucks.  Maybe.  I will probably buy the Shape Cut, because it took me about 3 minutes to cut my binding strips and they came out perfect.

I spent just over two days on the piecing and quilting, and a few hours on the basting and I am really happy with the result.

It's comfy.

More importantly, La La loves it, and calls it her Muno blanket, because she has a Muno made of Minky Dot.  I think it looks more like Toodee though.

You can almost see it all.

I put a label on the back that reads “For [La La] on her second birthday made with love by Mommy 2010”. I used printable fabric and my inkjet to print on the corner of a page, then sewed it into a corner of the binding. I even remembered to put it on before I sewed the binding! I did forget to attach it before I quilted it though.

I’ve been sucked into the cult of the hexagon and have been working away on a 3/4″ hexagon project that I hope will become a doll bed for La La.  When I started it was with some scraps that I got from a Japanese fabric shop, momen+. (They are on facebook, but don’t have their own website yet.)  I wanted to see how I like it, and I do, so next up will be a 1″ hexagon something, plus an 8″ hexagon throw.  I’ve used all the hexagons in the pack of 100 3/4″, and am still working out the geometry of making the flat surface into a moses-basket-shaped doll bed.  I think I might need some pentagons, so I might create those this weekend and try that out.

Purplicious Present


It was Ms. A’s fifth birthday this week, and we celebrated a week ago down in San Diego at a great park that had an amazing view of the area.

The theme of the party was Purplicious, which is a book that Ms. A is fond of. 


At least, that’s what it said on the invite.  When we got there it was more princess-y in theme, but still all purple


So, for a few weeks, I thought of what to make.  Since I knew purple was a must, I asked what Ms. A’s other favorite color was so that I could have another color to work with.  That was pink, which I had for the sashing, so that worked out well. 

Every few weeks, La La and I would go to the fabric store and pick out some purple fabric. La La would ask to pick out a purple each time we went, and I let her.  


I think she’ll be confused when she figures out that fabric is not called purple, but is called fabric. 


I found out that Ms. A still loves her doll that I made her for xmas, and had given the doll her own name.  I decided a quilt would be a fun gift for the doll, and felt Ms. A out with questions about whether her doll had a bed or not, or a pillow. 


I had a lot of fun coming up with the pattern for this.  Each square is 2″x2″, with a 1.5″ x 2″ purple piece in the center of each block.  It took me a while to figure out the dimensions with some graph paper.


I used a premade binding for the edge, and one of La La’s flannel receiving blankets for the batting.  (They shrink so much after the first washing that they aren’t much use after a couple of months anyway.)



Then I made the pillow and pillow case too.  I just love how cute they are!



Here’s the top.




And the bottom.  Ms. A likes guitars, so it worked for me. 

The label says:  For Ms. A on her purplicious fifth birthday (with a doodle of a cupcake) From me 2010.

Best news is, I got an MMS the next day from Ms. A’s dad showing the quilt under 2 of Ms. A’s new Barbies.  Pretty good deal, if she trusts her new Barbies with her new quilt. 


My next projects are a siggy quilt swap, which is 101 squares with my name and city on them, to be exchanged with 100 other people, to make a cool quilt and maybe some new friends in the world. 

The second is a quilt for La La, from a pattern I bought from Carolina Patchworks.  But, as I do, the pattern calls for five fabrics, but I’m going to use sixteen – at least one each from this fabric line

I’m really excited for both projects. 

Other overdue post

I also promised a post of the sweaters I’ve made for La La in the past year.  I’ve made 3 and have started on a pair of mittens and a new hat but I have til next winter to finish those.  She actually picked out the yarn for the hat and mittens (and scarf if there is enough).  She picked purple Encore, which should work out OK since it’s washable and her favorite color is purple!

The first sweater I made for her is this one, in a marled Cotton Fleece in a Raspberry/Pink colorway. 

I was itching to do something with a crochet collar and so this is what I came up with. 


I didn’t have a pattern, and for everything but the sleeves, I think it worked out OK.  For the sleeves, I decided to pick up and knit down, and there are some areas where I don’t like the way the increases look.


But otherwise, I think it’s OK.  For the crochet part, I just measured around the opening and picked a motif out of a book that had a repeat that would fit in space I needed.  I then centered it and attached it to the inside edges.  I like the yarn, but I think the idea that I had would have worked better in wool than in cotton.  La La likes the sweater and often picks it when we ask her which sweater she wants to wear.


The next sweater I made is this one.


This was done a la Barbara Walker… from the top down.  It’s in KnitPicks Swish Bulky, a yarn that I really like.  I bought a few skeins that were on clearance and was bummed when I decided to make a sweater with it and the colors were all sold out.  I decided to call anyway and they were able to get me one more skein of the purple, so I went on with the sweater and used the purple for the cuffs and collar. 


I did make a swatch, and despite my measuring and working from the top down, the sweater is still to big for La La, so she will grow into it.  I thought that would happen, so I made the cuffs extra long so that they would roll up in the beginning, then could be unrolled as she got taller. 

I still need to put the buttons on.  La La picked them out at JoAnn’s.  I’m not kidding – she was only 10 months old but she picked out the buttons, in fact I didn’t even see them until she pointed them out.  They are little purple flowers. 


The final sweater I made was for her Halloween costume. 

For many, many months, her favorite animal has been the Lion, so it was a natural pick to make her a Lion sweater for Halloween. 



I started with a basic sweater pattern, added a hood, ears, tail, and foldover mittens that could be buttoned open since she’d be wearing it to school and would need to eat, color, etc with her hands. 


I had the hardest time trying to figure out the mane. I scoured my knitting books, knowing that I’d seen this stitch somewhere that left loops on the front of the work.  I couldn’t find it anywhere and was starting to think I was crazy.  I even looked through my harmony crochet guides, thinking maybe it was not a knitting pattern at all, but still nothing could be found. 


So then I turned to Google, and after much searching, I finally found something that looked perfect on Knitty.  There was a pattern for a knitted lion washcloth that was really cute and had a lion face in the middle with a mane all around.  This wasn’t the place I saw the original loopy stitch, but it worked perfectly for the mane and the end of the tail. 

Again, I used KnitPicks Swish, but this time in worsted weight.  This is a really good washable yarn and I’ve been happy with it for everything I’ve used it in. 

She wore the sweater to school and on Halloween, and seemed to love it.  She would put up her paws and RAWR!! and roar on cue.   She wouldn’t let me paint her face though, so she only got some semi-decent whiskers and nose. 

At school, they had a costume parade.  First they wheeled out cribs filled with the infants.  Next was the toddler room, which is where La La is.  Some kids walked out holding onto a rope, and the kids who wander were in wagons.  You can guess where La La was… she takes after her mother with the looking at everything she passes. 


When her wagon was facing where I was sitting at the perimeter of the play yard, she saw me and wanted to be with me and so she started crying.  This was only a few weeks after her transition to the toddler room, so she was still upset in the mornings when we dropped her off.  So, I picked her up and we sat and watched the rest of the parade, and then went to visit with her friend NickNick and his parents. 

After the parade, I took her back to her classroom and had a long tearful goodbye.  That’s always the hardest part of leaving her.  Most days she’s fine, but once in a whil
e, even now, she doesn’t want us to drop her off and she whines or actually cries.  


Here she is waiting for the trick-or-treaters on Halloween night, dressed in her PJs and her Lion sweater.