Fox in a Box

Trina and I designed this quilt in 2013, published the pattern, and it’s been a best seller! I’m sharing it here again as my entry in the Spring 2015 Bloggers Quilt Festival.

There is an applique and a non-applique version. I’m kind of partial to those cute little foxes on the applique version…

FrontCoverForDigital_woFR

FIAB FullSHot Quilted2

Fox in a Box made with no applique:

Fox in a Box Quilt

Trina did a wonderful job on the quilting of this one, a combination of straight-line quilting, pebble quilting and shadow spirals…

Fox in a Box Free Motion Quilting

Fox in a Box Free Motion Quilting Detail

In designing this pattern, we worked out two methods of making no-waste (or LOW-waste) flying geese; through trial and error, but the methods in the pattern work our lickety-split!

Our little fox friend peeking out from his Fox and Geese Block, isn’t he adorable?

Fox in a Box Applique Fox and Geese Quilt Block

And his little friend gazing up at him from another block:

FIAB Fox 1 Detail

The two quilts side-by-side on my (apparently not-so-straight) fence:

FIABonFence2

The pattern is available here.

Happy Quilting! …and do come visit again

Doris (& Trina)

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Sometimes late is better than never…

In early 2014, Lynne put out a call for a challenge to be published in Fat Quarterly magazine (Issue #17, late Spring 2014) using mini-charms from Moda. I emailed her my idea, and she sent me two mini-charm packs of Zen Chic’s Sphere collection. She mailed them from England, they were returned to her once, and re-sent, and finally, weeks later they arrived in Iowa! But then, my life fell apart, cancer took my husband’s life — and for a very long time I didn’t even know which way was up.

Lynne was of course very understanding that my project wasn’t completed in time for the publication. But I was determined to finish it. In the meantime, my Mom and I had made an impromptu stop at Ikea and I found a table runner that SCREAMED Spring, and just happened to be the exact same colors as Brigitte’s Sphere fabric collection. So I scrapped the original idea I had proposed to Lynne, and started making small half-square triangles and randomly piecing mini charms and HSTs together in two long strips.

I appliqued the strips onto the long edges of the Ikea table runner, leaving about an inch of the white background visible along each edge:

TableRunner2

I didn’t want a dark binding to take away from the bright colors, or draw the eye away from the floral center, so I made a faux-flange binding using a Moda blue floral print from my stash with a white binding.TableRunner3

Here it is displayed (LAST MAY!) on the built in buffet in my old house:

TableRunnerI don’t live in the home with the pretty built-in anymore, but I still have my beautiful quarter-sawn oak antique table, and this runner and it’s bright Spring colors still look great and make me feel happy. Not sure why it took me 11 months to get this project on the blog; I finished it at the end of May… I think it just fell through the cracks.

Late is, indeed, better than never.

Happy sewing,

Doris

December Drumroll…

I have to share my last few finishes of 2012, including a big one… but, it wouldn’t be as fun if I gave it away right up front, right? So a quick December recap first:

Every year, my girlfriend’s an I have a favorites party, you know, like Oprah’s “My Favorites” giveaway episodes? Only on a smaller scale, but same idea. We give the exact same gift to each of the women at the party, something that we consider a “favorite” from the year. None of these five friends are quilters, so no sewing themed gifties. 😉  We started the “My favorites” party tradition last year, and I think it’s going to stick!

This year I gave them each an Aveda gift bag containing Aveda Foot Relief and Hand Relief Lotions:Aveda-Hand-Relief-Gift-Set

My favorite Aveda product, period.  Especially for Winter dry hands, it’s a Godsend.  From my five friends I received:

FavoritesParty

From Michelle: her favorite car freshener and a Jason’s Deli giftcard

From Kelly: her favorite Gold Canyon candle, Vanilla Rum

From Carisa: her favorite Tea and a statement “Hope” bracelet

From Tonya: an Angel ornament, Lindor Truffles, and an Orange Leaf giftcard

and from Carrie: her favorite Bath & Bodyworks Candle, MERRY MISTLETOE and Pretzel m&m’s

I didn’t have much of a chance to create gifts this year, aside from the Baby Cheetah onesie for Carrie’s baby:

Baby Cheetah Applique Onesie and sweaterI made Frank a photo frame that I painted a pale pink and embellished with type stamps to read “Grandpa’s Girl”, since his first grand-baby was due to arrive on Christmas Eve.  She arrived promptly on her due date, so I let him open that present right away — She was framed and on his end-table before she turned 4 hours old:

Gemma Frame Grandpa's Girl

If you’ve been reading this blog for a little while, you know we spent much of 2012 first moving my Mother from her house 100 miles away (selling the home, cleaning out, packing, garage selling extra stuff, etc.), to a very nice retirement cottage community only 19 miles from us, and THEN, helping my MIL clean out her house (of 58 years!) to move into an Independent Living apartment at a new retirement community.  That was a huge task, and it is still ongoing (she is moved into her new home, but the old house is not completely empty, yet – a saga in itself, but I’ll spare you the details).

We have made three, 3-day trips to the St. Paul, MN (about a 4.5 hour drive one-way) since Thanksgiving.  Sweetie even made one day trip in between without me along.  That is A. LOT. OF. DRIVE. TIME. my friends, or riding time for me, as my sweetie does about 65-75% of the driving on these trips.

But, do you know what that means?  You all know what I do when a passenger on a road trip, right…?  Hand-piecing.

HexieSewinginCar

And y’all know what I have been hand-piecing forever, right…?  (or at least since July 4th, 2010)…

Candied Hexagons in Nov 2012

Candied Hexagons!  These are a few I made on the Thanksgiving Weekend trip… and those I made in med-December….

Candied Hexagons Dec 2012

and on Christmas Eve, I sewed the last blocks up while relaxing at home watching Downton Abbey Season 2 on DVD (possibly the only blocks I made outside of a vehicle!).  I finished the final one up just before the ball dropped at Midnight, and now have all 104 full blocks and 12 have blocks pieced!

Ta-Da!!! (insert drumroll, here):

Candied Hexagon blocks

Here they are unceremoniously laid out on my studio floor.  I have them all organized to start sewing into rows… My sweetie came in while I was arranging these on the floor and he said “wow, I wasn’t sure I’d ever see the day when you had these all made.”  I had doubts myself…

I’m considering alternatives for the border, debating whether I want to stick with the original border design or create my own. Decisions, decisions….  but I think I have a day or two before I have to decide. 😉

Happy sewing,

Doris

Cheetah Girl

A friend of mine is expecting her firstborn any day now… for her baby shower a few weeks ago, I wanted to create a unique onesie to match these sweet Cheetah print legwarmers from her Target gift registry:

Onesie Leg Warmers

My idea was to create a cheetah cub similar to this lion I created for the onesies I made for my Etsy shop a few made months ago:

Lion Onesie

So I sketched a cub/kitten…

Kitty Sketch

Transferred it to the onesie by tracing it with a fine tip Micron pen…

Transferring Design onto Onesie

Painted it with glitter fabric paint, and adding some details with a black paint marker and blending/mixing paint:

Painted Cheetah Cat On Onesie

All of my one-of-a-kind onesies have an element of applique to them; since she is expecting a little girl, I selected some pink fabric from my scrap bin, ironed a piece of stabilizer to the back of my painted cheetah cub (inside the onesie)…

Prepping Onesie for Applique

and gave the little girl cub a bow around her neck (the pink fabric is fused with Heat n’ Bond Featherlite, and satin stitched over the raw edges):

Applique Done

Her is the ensemble, complete with a wee cardigan sweater to match:

Applique w/ Sweater and Cheetah legwarmers

I also purchased some bedtime lotions, etc. from her gift registry, so I bought a basket to gift them in, pulled out a lavender fat quarter from my stash (her nursery decor is primarily lavender) and sewed up a quick and easy basket liner.  I’m hoping she can use this to hold supplies near the changing table:

Basket Collage

Her is the gift, ready to give (I wrapped it up in a lavender polka dot swaddling blanket that can be reused as well:

Basket1

Looking forward to meeting this little lady soon!

I have a major finish (my final 2012 finish!) to share with you soon — when I have pics to show! Until then, a very Happy New Year to you and yours!

What a Tangled Web We Weave – Spiderweb Block Tutorial

BLOGTOBERFEST, Day 31

Today is the last day of Blogtoberfest, and my day on the Wicked Blog Hop.  Also joining in on Bloggers Quilt Festival with this fun Halloween quilt!

My “wicked” quilt block is the spiderweb block used to make my What a Tangled Web We Weave quilt, which received an honorable mention in the Des Moines Area Quilters Guild show this October.

The finished size of the quilt is Twin Size, and it takes 20 spiderweb blocks.  Here it is spread out on our Queen Size bed:

To make the blocks:

  •  Cut randomly sized strips of fabric across grain by width of fabric (wof) and sew into strip sets at least 6 1/2 ” wide.  (for one block you will need 1 or 2 strip sets, for the Twin size quilt you will need 18-20 strip sets)
  • Using a 60-degree ruler, cut alternating triangles from your strips sets in this fashion:

  • From background fabric, cut one 5 7/8″ square, cut in half diagonally into two half-square B triangles.
  • Also, from background fabric cut two A template pieces, and two Ar (A-Reverse) template pieces.  Template is provided here: SpiderwebTemplate
  • Add a B triangle to the flat end of two of your strip wedges, and add two A triangles and two Ar triangles to the flat ends of your other strip wedges like this:
  • Sew three wedge pieces together to create half a block; repeat:
  • Join your two half block pieces together and then square your block:

I fussy cut the inner border from a stripe fabric, it reads “Halloween” over and over…

And the outer border is an Alexander Henry fabric (from 2006, I think) called “Halloween Lane”.  And the backing is another fun Alexander Henry print called “Unhappy Hour”…

Trina’s long arm quilting made the quilt…the spider web details are fantastic, and I adore the cluster of spiders in the square areas of the background:

Thanks for stopping, I’d love to hear your comments on my quilt… and please go pay a visit to these Wicked Bloggers and see what they have to share today:

…and keep it company

BLOGTOBERFEST, Day 29

Anyone who lived through the 1970s in America probably remembers the coca-cola commercial with the theme song “I’d like to buy the World a Coke, and keep it company…”, originally aired in 1971 (when I was 2, but I remember it well so it obviously stuck around for a while– here’s a refresher of the Christmas version:

I kept humming this song while I made this mug rug for Jill, in October’s Des Moines Modern Quilt Guild Swap:

Jill doesn’t drink coffee or tea, Diet Coke is her liquid of choice.  And she happens to be a big fan of foundation paper piecing.  I started by sketching the Diet Coke logo, and then free-hand, hand embroidering it:

Then I drew up the bottle, transformed it into a paper pieced foundation and got to piecing.  I tweaked it as I went, it’s not perfect, but it looks pretty good.  Then I cut into a Munki Munki coca-cola nightshirt I’ve had stuffed in my closet for a few years, and started piecing patchwork around the fussy-cut double decker bus:

The back:

Giving this to Jill was such a joy.  She made me this fabulous pillow in our last Guild swap, so I wanted to really wow her with something made especially for her.

FREE PAPER PIECING & EMBROIDERY PATTERN for the Diet Coke bottle Coming Soon!!