Monthly Archives: February 2012

A February finish- The Monkey quilt


Do you ever have projects that you just aren’t that into? Projects that you drag your feet to do? This is one of those. The problem started with my son picking the fabric. The fabric he wanted was this Urban Zoologie by Robert Kaufman. The problem is that he just wanted monkey fabric. I convinced him to pick some blue to go with it. Then my calculations were off on the size of the triangles and the corner points do not match up nicely. I didn’t want to cut out a zillion more triangles so I just went with it, even though I knew my points weren’t good.


I dragged my feet. But my son loves it. And it is about him and not me, right? He even helped me in a few places, which was fun for both of us.


It is hard to tell, but there are three different shades of blue, making 6 pointed stars, with hexagons of the monkey fabric in each. The stars I quilted with a kind of fancy star design, and then I did a meander for the rest of the monkey print. Around the border, I just did straight rows.


I backed it with this blue minky fabric.


I love the binding. It is Pam Kitty Morning Blue Missy Stripe. (It looks purple on this site, but it is a pretty blue.)


I always quilt little love notes in my quilts. This one says “Love Mom” with a heart. My son is just reading, so I tried to make it more print type than script.


My son wants to be a Ninja when he grows up, so this one says “Ninja Boy”. He told me a few messages he specifically wanted. Of course, I was happy to oblige. It was fun to watch both my boys searching for the secret messages on this. They were totally excited. And my 6 year old loved his finished quilt. It was just a few days late for his birthday. In my book, it totally counts.

But what matters most is that he LOVES it!

A Yoda Valentine Box

Not to be outdone by his younger brother, my oldest son decided he would like a quick sewing lesson. He has stitched with me before, but he just didn’t care for it at the time. This time, I think he figured if his younger brother could do it (and LOVE it), he could try it too. But you know, Yoda would say “Do or do not;There is no try.”


I think he DID a bang up job! I didn’t draw/trace any of the shapes for him. I told him how to do it and he got to do it all by himself.

Younger brother reaaaaally wanted to help. He was so cute, telling big brother how to do everything. Big brother picked it up quickly and was pushing the right buttons and lifting the right levers in no time.


I again used my favorite trick to sew details onto felt. I had him draw the features of Yoda and then with a teeeeeny stitch length, stitch on the lines.

 yoda 2 

He was so proud of himself! He even said it was really cool to sew with Mom.

Little brother rearranged things in my studio while Big brother was sewing. I am now missing a thing or two, but he is now so interested with everything in my studio and being part of it. I can’t tell you enough how my heart was singing yesterday with both my boys in my studio and loving it!

This is the stuff life is about!!


Sewing a Valentine box with my son

For Valentine’s Day, the kindergarteners need to make a Valentine Box for their friends to put their Valentines in. I was dreaming up making a furry monster with the opening for his mouth. I excitedly told my 5-almost-6-year-old all about it. NO WAY MOM! I have to come up with it and make it myself. He told me. He is like that, very independent. For his 100th day project, I was not allowed to help at all.

For me, one of the most exciting things about having kids, was being able to make things with and for them…and watching them become who they are.

When he told me no, he was making his box himself, I gave my husband my little frownie face. So we went to Joann’s and I had my husband take the boys to come up with something, while I went in another direction and pouted. Did you catch that? I let them do it all by themselves. And let me just say, my little guy is soooo much like me.

He decided he wanted it to be an angry bird. They were strolling down the aisles looking for red felt when they happened upon the hat boxes. My older son, just happened to be wearing an Angry Bird shirt, so they picked the colors of felt they needed.

Of course, when I saw what they picked up, I was delighted with their imagination.

My son told me another day that we needed to work on his box. I found a coloring page online that he liked and we printed it out. I did trace the pieces onto the felt, but my son cut it all out BY HIMSELF.


It was hard for me to not fix things, but I didn’t. He was right there with me and would have known if I changed anything. That is one of the hardest lessons I have had to learn as a Mom….just letting their things be how they want them.

I layered the pieces to make sure they would be a good fit. He was happy with it.


The sewing began. He has sewed with me before. He knows how to guide the fabric.

He knows how to make the needle go down or up. (I keep my needle down.) And he knows how to cut the thread. Ok, so it is all just button pushing, but he knows when to do it. He can lift the presser foot and pivot his piece and continue stitching.


I started with him on my lap. But he got frustrated and told me he could do it himself. So I got to watch him instead.


Here the front circle is almost ready. I resisted putting any additional details like the beak line on. But he realized we needed eyes. I did cut them out for him, but I assure you, he stitched them on.

They have to have their names on the boxes. I had him write his name on a piece of paper and did my favorite trick for sewing details on felt like I did with the felt pencil topper or the felt apple garland. Just make sure your stitch length is pretty short and the paper almost pops off with just a little help. The name is on a circle of red that covers the back.

Close up of the stitching. I think he did a bang up job on it!

He cut out some hearts to go around the sides.

All Valentine boxes apparently need hearts on them, don’t ‘cha know!?

My husband cut the hole in the top of the hat box because it is pretty thick.


I confess, I did sew the front and back to the middle rectangle. The felt slips on and off, but it tight enough to hold it all together. The hole in the top is where the Valentines will go. I think my son’s favorite part is the tail and the top tuft of feathers that stick out.

My favorite part was spending time with my son as he did it 90% by himself. He is so proud of himself too! What is not to love? AND in the end, I was so thrilled with his own vision and his own hard work. I think this did turn out better than the furry monster vision I had.


By George, I think I’ve got it! {My SWOON!!}

So, my take two of the Swoon block for my Powder room was the layout below.

I was not digging it. There was too much black and not enough variations of grey.

I also have a little problem following a pattern exactly as it is written. The pattern calls for lots of wasted HST parts. I don’t love having tons of pieces laying around. So all the HST, I cut to 4” to give me wiggle room, and I cut them diagonally in half. When I went to make the flying geese, I  lined up my ruler at a perfect 45 degree angle, but matched it 1/4” in from the diagonal. I also marked the center point of the diagonal in the other direction so I could match up my HST pieces.

My HST triangles, I also marked the center of the diagonal. With right sides together, I matched the center marks and the full diagonal like. Then I stitched a 1/4” on the HST. Press it back and make sure you have covered the underneath fabric. VIOLA! Perfect flying geese. Now trim the back and do the other corner!

For the bigger flying pieces that I did with 6 1/2” pieces, I put a piece of tape to mark the diagonal I needed to mark. (I got it from the previous flying geese measurements.) Then mark the same way.

I only ended up with the underneath pieces of the flying geese as leftovers. Makes me happy!

I was pretty sure I liked the layout much better.

Turns out, I LOVE this one! I love how the corners look like flowers with buds. I love the addition of the black stripes.

I love how the center piece is framed in the star.

And I like that there are three grey fabrics in this! I feel like my poor little yellow powder room needed some color.

I don’t think this is too feminine. I think it is bold and sort of graphic. It has several different ranges of color and I am in love. Do you think my husband would let me marry it? Well, after I marry Justin Timberlake and Jimmy Fallon, together. They aren’t good without the otherWinking smile

I know I said my priority was my son’s quilt. But this was laying on my floor in the studio and I HAD to do something with it before I could work on his quilt. I am so pleased. Now to figure how to quilt and what to bind it with. Happy Monday to you!
(When it is just one block, I was able to cut it out and stitch it up in one day!

February to do list

February is a busy month in my house. My Sweet and I have our anniversary. Yay. My five year old will be a 6 year old. And there are lots of cousin birthdays thrown in there.

I have to finish a quilt for my soon to be 6 year old. I’m going to be honest and say I’m not in love with it and have put it off because of that. My son picked out the fabric and the pattern. I never let anyone have control of my creative endeavors. But my son convinced me. ‘Cause he is cute like that.

Anyway, it is all cut up and I just need to sit down and do it.

That is all that is on my MUST DO list for the month. I know there are quilters who finish a zillion projects in any given month. I’m not there yet. I do like to start projects and before they are finished, I’m already planning out my next project.

I want to figure out something for my Swoon for my bathroom. Maybe tryout some new fabric. That is ok, because it is already something I am working on, right?

And I would like to make something from the pattern I won from Prairie Point Junction back in 2009 for an ornament I made. Geez, I can’t believe it has been so many years that I have been holding on to that. The pattern is from Bareroots little stitchies #158 Birthday Candle Mat. But I don’t think I want to stitch the words on it. And maybe I’ll sew something with it too. You know, because I can’t make it just like the pattern.

 Little Stitches Birthday candle mat pattern-

My goal is not to purchase any more fabric, until I have finished one of my UFO’s.

Here is to February.