…and keep it company


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!!


Pretty in pink (and purple, too)

My niece turned 1 over the weekend, that’s her focusing intently on the mylar Butterfly balloon tied to that bag of gummy candy I just gave her (she has two big brothers to help her out with the candy) 😉  It is incredible how fast a year can fly by… and she looks so tiny in these pics at age 3 months…

She’s got that looking cute thing down pat.  😉  My sister has been planning Zoe’s big-girl-bedroom for a few months now, and when I was at Gruber’s last month, I started cutting hexagons for her twin bed quilt (see bottom right photo:)Friday, I started to make a pillow that will match her big-girl quilt.  This was probably as much a birthday gift for her Mommy as it was for her; but keep reading, Zoe liked her gift, very much.

My sister has always loved animals of all kinds, and the inspiration fabric I bought for the quilt is covered in butterflies, and is being used for other items that will go in her room, too.  And, I have been dying to try our One Big Cabin quilt pattern in feminine colors, ever since I first drew the animals… so…. Ta-Da!

A pink owl pillow, with two pretty butterflies (fussy cut from the inspiration fabric) surrounded by scrappy log cabin blocks made from all the fabrics in her quilt!  Isn’t that pink and purple owl precious?  Well, not as precious as that sweet baby girl up there, but it is pretty cute.

There are 9  little owls hiding in the log cabin blocks, as well as some fussy cut flowers and one red heart.  These are from a Rile Blake fabric by My Mind’s Eye.

On the back, I used a piece of the butterfly inspiration fabric, and found in my stash, I had Cosmo Cricket alphabet fabric that just happened to have the Z and the O lined up, so I decided to make another log cabin block with her name on it:

Zoe’s Mommy loved the pillow, just as I thought she would, but Little Miss Zoe Grace loved it, too:

She did her best to crawl onto the middle of it and perch there proudly, but a 20″ fluffy pillow is pretty big for such a little girl.  So she continued to climb on, roll around on, roll off of, lay her head on… giggling the whole time…

She even found it was useful for baby yoga poses:

(oh to be so flexible)

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, Zoe Grace!  Thanks for sharing that pretty little smile–Auntie Doris loves you to the moon and back…

Dry as a bone

and hotter than… well, you know.  That pretty much sums up our Summer here in Des Moines.  We had a brief thunderstorm Saturday morning, with maybe a half an inch or so of rain falling in a very short span of time, and that was the first rain we had in. a. very. long. time.   The sound of the thunder and the flashes of lightning were such a welcome sound and sight.

Typically, mid summer in Iowa the grass is a bright shade of green, the flower beds are bursting with color and blooms… (these pics were taken mostly in Des Moines Water Works Park, professionally maintained and manicured flower beds).  Most of the grass in Iowa has gone dormant, dry brown patches are the new norm, and many flower beds outside of area homes do not look nearly as nice as these.

The day I was at the park snapping these photos, and trying to get good style shots of our newest quilt, it was 98 degrees, and the humidity was incredibly HIGH.

It’s been hard to enjoy typical summer activities like bicycling, sightseeing, going to the park, etc., because it is just difficult to remain outdoors for any period of time.  Thankfully Saturday’s thunderstorm brought a little relief, and my sweetie and I were able to take the bicycles out for a ride Sunday afternoon–a very welcome break and a wonderful diversion.

I love the shot of that pink zinnia, one of my favorites, but the colors and the sunlight are just so rich.  The bumblebees and dragonflies were busy that day, and not minding the heat nearly as much as I was…

See the eye of this bumblebee?  Wild, huh? It’s amazing what you can do with a point and shoot camera when you put in a little effort.

As I said, my main reason for being out and about that day was to snap pics of our newest quilt for the new pattern cover.  I received a lot of strange looks as I carried two quilts around in nearly 100 degree weather!  This shot shows the Des Moines River in the background.

Hard to get a good quality, true color shot in such bright sunlight, but when the sky doesn’t provide you with cloud cover, you gotta do what you gotta do… (and Photoshop helps!)

Question for you quilters out there: Do you take your photos inside or outside?  Do you wait for the perfect weather conditions to come around to take your pictures?


Designing Women

I showed you sneak peeks of some raw-edge applique I was working on back around Labor Day (YES, that long ago…) and never showed you any more. Not really fair, now, is it? This was one of them: Which is really this guy:But there’s more: After a few delays, lots of road blocks, not enough time away from our real jobs, yada, yada… I am happy to announce the first pattern release of Row House Creations, LLP! and show you the rest of the work: What started out as a dream between two friends on a long car trip nearly two years ago, eventually transformed into these sketches at my kitchen table… and, this week the reality of a printed pattern! The tagline of our company is “Built Upon Classic Foundations”; our designs all start with a traditional quilt block (this time, a half log cabin block) interpreted with a modern quilting aesthetic… My partner, Trina, has 12 years of long arm quilting experience; Quilting guidelines for all of our cover quilts will be provided as an added bonus! No more mind block when it comes to deciding how you should quilt your quilt! Together we have 9 years of quilt shop management and service experience, and 22+ years of sewing and quilting experience! Knowing what quilters want, and anticipating solutions to problems are strengths that come from our experience! Our patterns are written with those qualities in mind.

One Big Cabin is made using a very simple raw-edge applique technique that anyone can do! One jelly roll, or Bali Pop, as we used, will yield enough strips to make two quilts from this pattern. On our website, fat quarters cutting instructions will be provided, and of course, a scrappy “One Big Cabin” would be adorable as well!
For more information on these cute critters and this sweet baby quilt pattern, check out our website and our SHOP!

Blogtoberfest Day XIX–The Guest Book Quilt

I finished up a commission quilt this week, and I’m delivering it to my client this evening.  I first talked about it here, and showed you our inspiration piece.  It’s a signature quilt, that served as the “guest book” for the client’s July wedding.  Her wedding colors were Truffle Brown and Daisy Yellow, and she had yellow Gerber daisies as her primary flower.  I drew up a sketch for her, she loved it, and I prepared the blocks for her prior to the wedding (freezer paper stabilizer on the back of them, pinked edges to prevent raveling while being handled, and provided her with a supply of permanent pens for signatures).  I got the signed blocks back from her in late August, and went to work piecing the quilt and creating the applique design.

I’ve never had this issue before, but I had to baste this quilt THREE times, and tear out far too much quilting, because of bunching up fabric on the back.  Grrrr…  I finally walked away from it Saturday evening, went on a date night with my sweetie, and after Church Sunday morning, went back to basting it fresh for the third time.  Third time was a charm.

Here it is in all its (finally) finished glory:

Yellow is not really my color, but this quilt may change my mind about it.  It’s so bright and cheerful, I’m going to have a hard time parting with it!

The couple’s names and wedding date are hand embroidered at the center of the daisy (used my Aurifil wool thread to embroider–worked wonderfully!!)  The photograph does not show it, but the wool thread provided a wonderful visual texture on this embroidery…

This design may be making a repeat appearance here one day:

Happy October!
Don’t forget to leave your comments before 8 PM (CST) time this evening to qualify for this week’s giveaway:

And come back tomorrow for another installment of our Halloween Party and NEW GIVEAWAYS!!!!

p.p.s If you are in Central Iowa, join us tomorrow night for the Des Moines Modern Quilt Guild Meeting, at 6:30 pm, West Des Moines Public Library.  More details here.

Quilt in a Day

If Eleanor can do it in a day, I should be able to do it in a week, right?! No problem…. I need a gift for next weekend (Saturday) so I pulled fabrics for a throw quilt last Friday.

Also, I’m not using a pattern, just this photocopy of an old newspaper quilt block called “Chrysanthemum”. I’m making the pattern up as I go. The chrysanthemum is the traditional symbol of friendship, and the quilt is for a very dear friend of mine. If the quilt isn’t done in time for the event, she may be getting a bouquet of real chrysanthemums to tie her over…

On another note, I’m trying to upgrade to a “dream machine” and so, I’ll be de-stashing some fabric, patterns, books, and my current machine, the Pfaff.
UPDATE: Sold the Pfaff–the search for my “dream machine” continues….