Thursday, July 31, 2014

Christmas in July

My sister-in-law has been lamenting the fact that she is the only one of my siblings without personalized holiday placemats. My other two brothers got married more recently and got stockings and holiday placemats as housewarming and birthday gifts. So this year, Judy is getting her set as her birthday and Mother's Day present. 
She had to wait until July, when the new Christmas fabrics became available. 

My Goose and Bug helped me with the fabric placement. (Don't tell Nonna she was standing on the chair!)

Today I cut their names out and fused them on with heat 'n bond. 

Now they are ready for me to appliqué the names, then quilting and binding. They will be ready in plenty of time for the holiday season!

Lucky Star #4

Today I made my 4th star, and although this one made me use my seam ripper a few times, it turned out fine. My kids being in the room prevented me from telling this star what I really thought of it on several occasions, but by the end, we were on speaking terms. 

Here is my Instagram pic...despite a few rough patches, I'm really happy with how it turned out!

And here are all 4 of my stars so far!!!

Monday, July 28, 2014

Two-Star Nap

Today my Bug took a nap long enough for me to finish two stars... my second and third stars from the Lucky Stars Block of the month. I am loving it!! They are so fun to put together, and after each star I feel like I accomplished something. They're like mini-finishes!

Here's my second star, which is the January, 2013 pattern. 

My progress shots from Instagram:

...and my third star (February, 2013). 

My progress shots:

I'm not planning on making them all in order, it just turned out that the first three I picked happened to be the practice block, January, and February. 

I'm enjoying these colors more each day and I can't wait to make the next one!

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Lucky Stars...Finally!

I joined the Lucky Stars Block of the Month club way back in January of 2013, when it was started over at Don't Call Me Betsy. I bought my fabric about a year ago-- a great gray with a honeycomb texture for the background and the "Fields of Iris" bundle of purple Kona solids. 

This quilt is going to be a gift for my mom (and my dad too!!) for their 35th wedding anniversary. Never mind that they just celebrated their 37th in May...they're patient. Well, between working full-time as a teacher, chasing after my two little ones, and other quilting projects getting in the way, this one has been a long time coming. 

Oh, and one small little detail--I didn't know how to paper piece. I figured that out with the Nittany Lion pillow I made recently for my cousin, and realized that it's really not as hard as everyone makes it seem! Since that pattern had 7 sections, some with up to 15 pieces for fabric, it was pretty complicated. If I could get through that one, I should have no problem with the stars!

So, I finally got around to making my first block today, during my Bug's nap. Here are the colors I picked for the first one:

Purple is my mom's favorite color, and mine too, so I just love looking at all these delicious shades and variations while I'm working!

I am thrilled with how this one turned out!

Here's my Instagram photo...

I can't wait to make some more. Before nap was over, I printed out the templates for two more stars and started choosing some combinations of purples. I think this is going to end up being one of my favorite projects yet!

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Ashley's Wedding Quilt

Last month, Matt's niece Ashley, who lives in Maine, got married, and we drove up for her wedding. It was just beautiful, and I had a close encounter with one of their horses. 

I am making a quilt for them, and it's almost ready to be quilted. The colors in these fabrics reminded me of Ashley and the beautiful Maine wildflowers from her wedding. 

Here is the block layout, and below you can see the finished quilt top and the pieces backing. 

My goal is to finish quilting it in time to send it with Matt's brother and cousin, who will be driving up to Maine in mid-August. If not, I will have to ship it, and that makes me a little nervous. 

Joseph's Quilt

Joseph's baby quilt is all done, and I gave it to my sister-in-law at her "sprinkle" last weekend. 
This was after it went through the wash (twice, thanks to a pesto-laden hug by his almost-two-year-old cousin). It's nice and cuddly!

I quilted it with horizontal wavy lines, to look like waves in the ocean.

I just love the cute little animals, and I can't wait to meet this little guy in about a month or so!

All photos by Ali Brant Photography

Thursday, July 17, 2014


My cousin just graduated from high school and has decided to go to Penn State, my alma mater! I am so excited for her to experience the next four years, and I am even more excited to visit her! 

For her graduation gift, I decided to make her something Penn State, for her dorm. I found a fabulous (and free!) paper piecing pattern of the Nittany Lion logo on this site: It looks great and was easy to follow. I had never done paper piecing before, and I figured I would just jump right in, feet first, with a difficult pattern. 

First of all, paper piecing makes a huge mess!!

But I figured it out, and paper piecing really isn't as scary or difficult as people make it seem. 

I love it!!! I added some borders and an envelope backing to make it fit a 16" pillow. I quilted it with a small stipple in matching thread. 

Photo credit Ali Brant Photography

Photo credit Ali Brant Photography

Photo credit Ali Brant Photography

This little munchkin couldn't resist some cuddle time with her Godmother's present! Such a little ham. 
Photo credit Ali Brant Photography

I finally had the chance to give Margaret her gift this past weekend, and she loved it! I'm sure it will find a place in her dorm room this fall.