Project Quilting- Week 2 Challenge- Making Music

I have to admit… I’m loving this Project Quilting thing! I get almost giddy waiting for the next one! Last week’s challenge was Making Music.

Here’s the story… So I was at a play date on Sunday afternoon with my son, one of his buddies and her momma. I had left my phone in my pocket so I kept getting little buzzes for a while letting me know I was getting emails. While we were sitting there chatting, my son’s friend decided that I needed to hold on to her color coded piano music book. So I’m flipping through this on and off, not really paying attention since I was doing the mommy chatting. Then we took a snack break and I peeked at my phone. The new challenge had come!!! When I read the challenge in one hand, I looked in my other hand at the music book and knew instantaneously what my quilt was going to be!

So last week’s quilt is called Row, Row, Row Your Boat and is 34inches x 22inches. I really love how it turned out despite a few flaws. Flaws?? Is that the right word??? hmmmm… No, I think I call them lessons!

I knew I wanted to use the white for the background, but I didn’t really have any quilting weight white fabric so I used a heavier fabric. Not only was it a heavier fabric that made it a little harder to deal with, but it also was stretchy! Oops.. Somehow I didn’t think that would be an issue. Huh??

And I put the binding on backwards! oops, again… I have never tried to put the binding on and then machine stitch, in the ditch, the binding. So of course I wanted to try it. I thought it out and was concentrating and had the process in my mind all sorted out. Or so I thought… I got it sewn on the back and then realized I had done it backwards… oops. So I learned my lesson for next time!

So this won’t go into the Hall of Fame of Quilting Technique, but I’ve gotten quite a bit of great feedback on flickr and I’m super happy with it!

I can’t wait to see what the next challenge will bring!

Soooo… Can you sing it with me?

Row Row Row your boat, Gently down the stream,

Merrily, Merrily, Merrily, Merrily, Life is but a Dream…..


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Weekend Whims- More Quilts

I’ve been thinking about quilts a lot lately… Probably since I’ve been working on one every day this week! I designed one for the Project Quilting that was supposed to be quick and easy, but it’s taking way longer than planned…. hmmmmm… So in the meantime, here are a few others that left an impression!

1. I do like the hexagon quilts, but I can’t ever remember seeing a Monster-z sized one like this one by Cloud 9 Fabrics! I love this and it’s even a tutorial…..

2. I’ve been watching all the wonderful inspiration, and of course amazing talent, being featured on the 100 Days of Quilts over at The Modern Quilt Guild Blog. I loved this Red Cross one by Anglea from Quilting is My Therapy and it has inspired me for a Christmas present… shhhh…..

3. Have you ever made a postage stamp quilt??? I am still learning about quilting, so just recently learned that this is what they are called. So of course, I’ve never made one, since I just learned about them… But this one by Elena from Breakfast for Dinner via Gen X Quilters totally made me want to make one. I can’t get it out of my head!!! I might have to find a way to make a mini one for one of the Project Quilting Challenges… ohhhh, I just had an idea…  ohhhh! I’m excited!

4. I love the improv pieceing of this one by Karen Anderson Abraham via The Modern Quilt Guild Blog. I need to try an improvisational pieced one real soon! They are some of my favorites!

What are your favorite quilt styles?

Winter Papercut Tutorial over at Sugar Bee Crafts

I don’t know if you remember, but wayyyyyyy back in 2011 I did a tutorial on how I do my 3D papercuts…. I made the tutorial to share with a great blog, Sugar Bee Crafts, but today I wanted to post it right here on my blog! It is a little Christmas-y… the decorated tree kinda gives that away, huh??? But it’s still hanging in our dining room, we just had a nice little winter snow storm last week (that kept us at home for a week looking at the walls…. yes, my husband started painting the walls again today… see??? we really have been staring at the walls around here!) and I’m thinking about doing a springy or Valentine’s day one too… So I guess what I’m trying to say is, I’ve been thinking about it for a while, so I thought I’d share it again!

The other projects I’ve become obsessed with lately are paper cut art pieces! I made one for Halloween and absolutely loved it, so thought I’d make another winter one. That idea grew into a tutorial that I want to share with you today!

Step 1- Gather the materials!

Frame- I actually used a wooden painting panel (1 1/2″ depth) turned backwards!

Paper! The blue background paper, the white paper, gold glitter paper for the star, and glitter paper for the tree ornaments.

Images- If you’d like to use mine, download them here.

Foam Core

Spray Paint- If you want to paint your canvas

Cutting Materials- cutting mat, straight edge, exacto knife and extra blades

Hole Punches- I used a regular hole punch and two smaller ones, 1/8″ and 1/16″ hole punches

Picture Hanging Materials- Eye Screws and Wire

And miscellaneous tools that didn’t fit in the picture!- Double sided tape and Glue

Step 2- Spray Paint the frame. This is going to be Step 2 and a few in-between steps throughout. I started with this step. Then moved on to the next steps and between steps would go add my second and third coats of paint.

I got my panels at Artist and Craftsman Supply here in Seattle. Actually I got mine out of our cabinet that stores our art supplies and my lovely husband pointed out that the panels I used on this and the Halloween one was actually not mine at all, but his! It was nice of him to donate them to the cause! I know what’s going in his stocking this year…

Step 3- Cut the background paper.

Step 4- The Papercuts- Part 1! This step is kinda long and tedious. I kinda hate to say that, but I don’t want you to get into and wonder why it’s taking so long…. If it is, you’re doing it right! I taped my image onto the white paper and then start cutting. Don’t try to get it perfect in this step. This one you’re just making the lines, but not worrying if they actually connect… (this will make more sense in the next step)

Step 5- The Papercuts- Part 2! Yep, another long step… Remove the image from Step 4. This is where you replace your knife blade and go in and actually connect all the lines for nice sharp corners. Also, don’t forget to cut the moon.

Step 6- Cut the Foam Core. Outline the ground-line of the paper cut on the foam core and then cut the foam core about a 1/4″ shorter than the actual paper cut for each layer.

Step 7- Tape the Foam Core. Tape the foam core to the papercuts with double-sided tape. I love this Scotch tape! It says it’s removable, but it holds really well!!

Step 8- Punch out the snow. I used both of the smaller hole punches for the snow and primarily the 1/16th inch punch.

Step 9- Glue on the moon and the snow. First I laid out where the moon was going to be and then glued it down. I sprinkled all the snow on, then adjusted if there were any clumps of areas with too much snow. Then I glued it down. I was planning on just using regular glue, but imagine my surprise when I found this WONDERFUL ball point glue pen. LOVE IT!

Step 10- Punch tree ornaments. I used all three hole punches for the ornaments.

Step 11- Cut out the star!

Step 12- Glue on the ornaments. I was a little skeptical about the ornaments… I loved it with just the star being the only color, but at the same time, I loved the ornaments…

So I did a little mock-up with and without the ornaments. Obviously I went with the ornaments! Actually, this idea didn’t hit me until I was done… But I actually liked the idea of making one or two extra layers of the tree… Hmmmmm…. Next time…

Step 12- Take a break from the actual art piece and add the picture hanging wire.

Step 13- Assemble all the pieces! Start by adding the double-sided tape to the back of the frame. Then continue by adding the tape to each layer and building up the piece.

And lastly, add the star to the top of the tree! Just like in our house, the star (or angel, depending on the year) is always the last ornament!

Step 14- Hang it up and enjoy!

I’m so excited about my new paper cut obsession! What do you think? I’m thinking art shows, my name in lights, world acclaim…. Ok, Maybe I’ll just stick to making them for my home….

ahhhh… that felt good to get this posted yet again! Hope you don’t mind the repost… I’ve been working hard on some fun stuff, so of course, there’s good stuff coming the next couple of weeks!!!  I can’t wait to show ya some of the other things I’ve been working on.

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Kindle Cover Tutorial!

Kindle covers! Finally! At least that’s probably what my friend that I was making these for was probably thinking today when I finally gave one to her!

Remember last month when I made the ipad covers? Well, this same friend also ordered the kindle cover at the same time! Oops… I got caught up in everything holidays. Then I spent some time really trying to get it right and figuring out how to secure the kindle on the bottom, because the same corners I used at the top would cover the buttons on the bottom….

She requested a pocket too, to keep the power cord safe and nearby. So I set to work and this is how I made it…

Kindle Cover Tutorial

Step 1: Materials

Fabrics, I use 3 coordinating pieces

Clear Vinyl

Heavy Interfacing


scissors, rotary knife


Step 2: Cut out all this pieces

Back piece: (1) 11 3/4 x 8 3/4

Interfacing: (1) 11 3/4 x 8 3/4

Inside Left: (1) 6 3/4 x 8 3/4

Inside Right: (1)6 x 8 3/4

Pocket:(1) 7 1/2 x 10 1/2

Clear Pocket: (1) 2 1/2 x 6

Corners: (2) 2 1/2 x 2 1/2, fold in half to make a triangle

Flap: (2) 4 x 4, I used 2 different fabrics (one of each)

Velcro: (2) 2 inch pieces

Step 3: Make the pocket.

A- Fold over the top fold 1 1/2, 2 times. And sew on the velcro.

B- Topstitch the fold at the top and bottom.

C- Sew in darts. These will be small. I did mine about 1 1/2 over and so that the final dart is a little smaller than 1/4 inch. You want the final dimension at the bottom to be the same 6 3/4 inch dimension as the inside right piece.

D- Sew on velcro to the inside right piece.

Step 4: Cut the notch in the vinyl. And fold over the top about 1/4″ and topstitch.

Step 5: Sew together all the inside pieces down the interior center. Stack the inside right piece and pocket, right sides facing the right sides of the vinyl pocket and left side piece and the inside top corner piece. Sew these together. Then iron flat (except not the vinyl) and topstitch each side.

Step 6: Make the flap.

A- Sew velcro onto the flap.

B- Place the pieces, right sides together and sew three sides. Cut the corners.

C- Turn right side out, iron and topstitch.

Step 7: Iron interfacing to back cover.

Step 8: Sew on velcro to back cover.

Step 9: Place the back and inside pieces together, right sides together. Sew together the back cover piece to the inside piece. Be sure to leave a hole to pull the cover right side out.

Step 10: Pull the kindle cover through the hole and iron flat.

Step 11: Topstitch the cover.

Step 12: Wahhhhhllllaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!

If you look closely the vinyl at the bottom gets a little crooked on one side…. at first I was ok with it, so I set it aside in a bag to deliver. But it kept whispering to me…. ‘Louise, are you really ok with the little flaw in my pocket?? Are you sure???’ So I had to go make another one!

So what do you think? Have you made the switch from paper to electronic?? I am still stickin’ with the paper version of books, but am pretty excited about how the covers turned out!!


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Weekend Whim- 7 Pretty Things on a Sunday

7 Pretty Things!! Earlier this week when I read about the 7 Pretty Things Blog party and a few of my favorite ‘pins‘ came to mind. So I just have to share!

1. Oh, To Dream quilt by Rebecca Rebouche for Anthropologie, via Maureen Cracknell Handmade. I’m so glad to have found this quilt online, because I’m now a huge fan of all of Rebecca’s work.

2. Have you seen this butterfly chandelier by Stef from Girl. Inspired, via Chickabug?? I’ve been seeing a bunch of pretty things lately, including this chandelier, and trying to think of when will I ever get a chance to make one since we don’t have any little girls in my house!

3. If you’ve been keeping up with this Season of Project Run and Play, I’m sure you saw this amazing dress! The Every Color in the Box Dress by Danielle from My Sparkle, via Project Run and Play

4. I love sea urchins and I love seeing them in all white. SO of course I fell in love with this pillow by Parker Brown Textiles made of recycled chelline blankets.

5. I’ve also always have a thing of old birdcages. I’ve always wanted to make an aquarium in an old birdcage. Anyway… So with that information, you can see why I love this birdcage chandelier made by Jesyka D’Itri Marés from Visual vocabulary , via Design Sponge.

6. How adorable are these mini pinata favors by Ruffled ?

7. And last but not least, I want one of these moons!! I adore this moon photo by Wildflowers Photography, via I Heart Faces.



Don’t forget to check out the blog party hosts,  Gussy Sews, Matchstick Molly, Much Love Illy, and The Letter 4, for more Pretty Things!

Valentine’s Day is Coming!!

Do you know who you’re going to get a crafty Valentine from???

Well, I’m thinking I’ll get one from my husband and my son and my Mom and…. Someone else that I don’t know, because I’ve signed up to participate in Happy Hour Project’s Valentine Exchange!


And you can too!! There’s a few days left, you have to sign up by the 20th. That’s this Friday!

SIgn up and you’ll get partnered with another crafty soul and you’ll make and exchange something special!! And if you sign up, you never know, maybe we’ll be partners!

I’m not sure yet, what I’m going to do, but I’m thinkin’……

Project Quilting- Week 1 Challenge- Architectural Elements

There’s Project Runway, there’s Project Run and Play (which is amazing and very cool) and there’s Project Quilting!

This year, despite my better time management judgement and husband’s advice, have decided to participate in Project Quilting! It’s a crazy and kinda scary time here at our home, but I’ve been wanting to do more small art quilts so I decided to go for it…

The first challenge was issued on Monday and then the quilts have to be done by the following Sunday, which was yesterday. I just barely finished and got mine in on time. Better time management next week, I promise!

Originally, I had planned on using this one picture that I wanted to make into a quilt, but it was all grey and black and for some reason it just wasn’t calling to me. It was a project I worked on for a looong time at my last job. I absolutely love the picture, but I don’t think I had the right fabric to really make it pop!

photo via James and Vilija’s Flickr Photostream

Then I thought of the EMP building in Seattle and this wonderful pink silk fabric I have… That’s when I decided to switch to the colorful from the black and white. Then I found this inspiration photo with the muted tones contrasting with the background color and decided to use that one picture as my inspiration.

My quilt is a pretty literal take on the picture! Since the colors in the siding were actually pretty muted I didn’t even get to use the bright pink silk I had anyway! But I did need to figure out how to get the mottled look and different shades of color being reflected on the silver siding. This is where the use of layers and layers of tulle came in wonderfully useful. I printed the photo at the same size as I wanted the quilt to be. Then I kinda winged most of the pieces. Some pieces I’d loosely trace onto the fabric, but most of them I just eye-balled to get the right size and shape.

If you look closely at the photo, you can see the bolt pattern on the siding. Since, as you know, my new obsession is beading, I was going to bead the bolt pattern onto the quilt. I did almost half of it and then was starting to wonder if it was the right thing to do… The beads stood out a bit more than I wanted them to. Then my husband looked over from his video game and said, ‘Why are you doing that????’ He didn’t like it…. So, out came the beads! Thoughts?

Personally, I like it just the way it is! I’m a little confused on how the judging works, but once I find out how I did in the first challenge, I’ll let you know!

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A Weekend Whim! Bead Art…

Friday Link Love posts are changing to A Weekend Whim posts! Lately it’s been hard to get my Friday posts done on Friday and whim suited these little link loves perfectly, so I introduce to you my weekend whims!

whim: noun \ˈhwim, ˈwim\  : a capricious or eccentric and often sudden idea or turn of the mind

And for my first Weekend Whim, beads! I’m obsessed….

1. This beaded flower by Lisa Jabbor just stopped me in my tracks! I can only dream of making a large wall hanging like this! I love it small, too, but I can imagine myself obsessing over a really huge one!

2. Lovely mixed media piece by Elsa Mora. Inspiring me to do a little more art!

3. ‘Bear of a Different Color’ is a quilt made up of different artists quilt blocks by Mat-Su Valley Bead Society. Read more about this beautiful piece here!

4. Another piece from Elsa Mora that actually triggered my obsession in the first place!

Beading Backstitch- A Mini Tutorial

Do you bead?? Me? No… Until last week…

The other day I showed you my cute little Elf. And on this elf is a beautiful almost straight line of pearls along his collar. Well…. That was my first ever attempt at beading anything since I was probably, oh, maybe 6… So I did have to figure it out. And what I learned was the beading backstitch!

Step 1: materials:





Step 2: Pull the thread through the fabric with the knot on the back side of the fabric. String three beads onto the needle and tight to the front side of the fabric.

Step 3: Pull the thread back through the fabric to the wrong side at the end of the third bead.

Step 4: Pull the thread back through to the front of the fabric between the first and second beads.

Step 5: Pull the thread through beads two and three.

Step 6: Start over at Step 3…

Until you have your line, or your heart…

When I was doing the curved pieces of the heart, I did the same technique, but only used 2 beads at a time.

And yes, despite my obsessiveness, I have not perfected my technique…. But for the heart to be my second beading attempt, I’m happy! And of course, it would look a whole lot better if I used coordinating, rather than contrasting, thread. The contrasting thread was used only for clarification of the technique. Ha, I sacrificed perfection in the name of tutorials!

Just a quickie for you today! I’m excited about the beads and have another use for them in this quick project I’m working on!! Do you know of any awesome beading artists?? I’d love to see their work!

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Our Elf On The Shelf

I’m sure everyone knows about the Elf on the Shelf! If you’re into the ‘Santa’s watching’ kind of discipline that is at your fingertips during the holidays, the Elf on the Shelf is for you!

Yes, there was a lot of, ‘Santa is watching… So you want to be on the naughty or nice list???’ at our house this year.

The story of the Elf is:

‘Excellent listeners and even better observers, these scout elves are the eyes and ears of Santa Claus. Although they cannot be touched, or else they may lose their magic, the elf will always listen and relay messages back to Santa. Taking in all the day-to-day activities around the house, no good deed goes unnoticed; these scout elves take their job seriously.

Each night, after the family goes to bed, the scout elf uses his magical Christmas powers to fly back to the North Pole. Once there, the elf will make his or her daily report to Santa and visit with elf friends where they will tell stories about their beloved families, play with the reindeer, and of course, sneak some of Mrs. Claus’ cookies!

Before the family awakes each morning, their special scout elf will fly back to their home from the North Pole. However, since these elves like to play games, don’t expect to find them in the same spot!  While some like to hide in the freezer (probably because it reminds them of the North Pole) and others prefer to sit on the fireplace mantle or hang from the chandelier, these elves love to play hide-and-seek with their families.’

I’ve loved the Elf on the Shelf for a long time, but have never actually bought one. Then my son wanted one…. But red is not actually part of my holiday decor. And as much as I love felt, neither is felt… So I knew I had to make my own….

Everyone that has seen it so far says it looks like my son!

Instead of the red felt elf, we now have a bright green satin elf with raw silk hands, feet, ears and face! I did use felt here and there on our little guy, but to glam up the felt a little, I added some pearls. Which is what led me to learning about the beading backstitch! (more on that later this week!) I also actually forgot the ears when I sewed him together. I debated on whether to add the ears or not… I knew it would bug me with no ears, so he got elf ears! And please ignore the stitching for the mouth, I’m not exactly sure what happened there….

Despite the fact that I didn’t want to purchase one of the mass-produced elfs, I do love the story behind the family that did write the book. I considered doing a tutorial, but for some reason it just felt wrong to publish a tutorial on this one. I’m not sure why! Not that my tutorial could really put a dent in the money-making machine of the Elf on the Shelf… Anyway…..

As I was making ours, my son asked how he was going to be magic… I told him that we’d have to find some Christmas magic dust. So I’m on the lookout for that!

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