17 March 2014

everyday princess dresses - take 2

Once upon a time, there was a little girl K. who didn't like to wear clothes.  She would get dressed in the morning, but as soon as her Mom wasn't looking the clothes would come off.  This behavior perplexed K's Mom and made her Aunt giggle.  One day while wasting time perusing blogs for quilt inspiration, K's Aunt read about a 'pretty princess sew-along' by Cut to Pieces and thought that maybe K would keep her clothes on if she had a princess dress to wear.  The dresses were made  and it was a success!  K liked wearing them, often changing dresses multiple times a day - but she was wearing clothes!   Time passed and, as little girls tend to do, K grew.  She grew so much that her princess dresses were getting too short, too small, and just plain worn out.  K immediately knew the solution: call her Aunt and ask for new ones.

I thought I'd make just a couple.  One or two of K's favorites.  I took my favorite little people princesses to the fabric store and started picking out fabric.  I'm not really sure how, but fabric for 8 dresses ended up in my cart and I just couldn't put any of them back.  Little girls can always use more dresses - right?

The pattern is a simple peasant dress - Simplicity 2377.   This time I made a few more notes and made actual patterns for everything that I did differently (Rapunzel bodice, Rapunzel sleeves, Tiana skirt, Merida sleeves).  K does have a younger sister and I might be making these for a 3rd time.  My sister mentioned that the ribbon did not wear well, so I 'made' most of the ribbon with strips of fabric and bias tape makers. 

 A fabric explosion occurred in my living room followed by sewing for almost 3 weeks.  (I will spare you a photo of my disastrous living room/kitchen.  Just picture fabric and thread on every surface.)  Here are the dresses:

Rapunzel, Aurora, Tiana, Minnie Mouse.  (okay, Minnie Mouse isn't really a princess, but I love the dress.)

Merida, Belle, Snow White, and Cinderella

My sister tells me that the most recognizable is Snow White and Minnie Mouse (as in random people stop them in Wal-Mart to comment on the dress) - but K knows who all of them are.  The new ones this time are Tiana and Merida.  Tiana because K requested it and Merida just because.  Tiana took some thought - and there is a lot of fabric in that skirt.  The yellow underskirt plus 3 panels that are 'tulip' shaped on top.  For Merida I tried to imitate her 'gathered elbows' on the top of the sleeves.  I think it turned out pretty cute.  I probably should have use a more cream/ecru fabric for it, but I loved the gold with the teal dress.  Hopefully K likes it. 

I have several ideas on an 'Ariel' dress, but I thought 8 dresses were enough.  Plus I'm tired of gathering skirts.

There were many shouts of joy as K opened the box from her Aunt and tried on each dress.  And she lived happily ever after.  At least until she grows a few more inches.

pattern - Simplicity 2377
fabric - various cottons from JoAnn Fabrics, a few ribbons, and some lace.  Many thanks to Cut to Pieces for coming up with the idea.

20 January 2014


In September, I visited my sister.  We had some time on our hands, so we started searching for a pattern for a new quilt for her bed.  Her current quilt is 13 years old and tears when you look at it wrong.  We started searching pinterest, flickr, and favorite quilt blogs.

She found one: Groove.  We stumbled upon a quilt-a-long and traced it back to a quilt by 'Elven Garden'.  It was love at first sight.  We loved the pattern, loved the colors, and it was approved by the husband.  Yea!   Colors: Kona cotton in azure, willow, white, chartreuse and black.

Looking at the quilt pattern and comments on the quilt-a-long, we realized two things.  1. The quilt pattern comes in sizes from crib up to king - with each size smaller than a king just containing a portion of the design. 2. This quilt was intended to be made out of 3.5" squares. 

Uh.  No.  There had to be a better way than to piece a king size quilt out of 3.5" squares.   117" x 99" equals 1,287 squares.  Ugh.  Looking further several were making it in pieces like a 'log cabin'.  That would work.  But what about strips?  Strips should work.  And the curved piece is a 3" finished drunkard's path block. 

We started drawing it up in Google Sketch-up.  Once we had it drawn, we broke it up into rows and started breaking out each color piece.  When we got to the end of that, we had the realization that breaking it up into columns would probably have less pieces and 'larger' chunks.    Oops.  It was re-done.  Columns was definitely better.

Many of the fabric strips were longer than 44" and we really didn't want to piece fabric.  Our bright idea - cut the fabric along the length (not width) so our strips could be as long as we wanted.  My sister spent several nights grouping the individual pieces to determine how much fabric to order.

At Christmas, we were together - with the fabric - and started cutting.    After the kids were in bed we picked a color of fabric, laid it out on the kitchen floor, and armed with rotary cutters, a mat, a tape measure, and a few rulers, we started cutting fabric - double checking each others math. :)    I was the designated cutter ... something about being abnormally picky about how fabric is cut.  It might have to do with my "if I don't cut it, I don't sew it" policy.  My sister double checked all measurements and pinned labels on every piece of fabric. Color coded for front vs back.  I think it took 3 or 4 nights to cut out all of the colors and another night to cut the curves. 

For the curves - a drunken path block, I drew up a template in MS publisher.  [It seems to have a better resolution that Sketchup.]   After using some laser cut templates for another project, I knew I really wanted a set for this quilt.  But my favorite Etsy shop to create these shut down.   Bummer.   Dad totally came through for us and cut it out of a piece of 1/4" Plexiglas.  Yea Dad!   They worked great using a 28mm rotary cutter.  To sew, I followed a no-pins tutorial by: 'She Can Quilt'.  (I don't think I will every pin another curve again.  As long as I remembered to hold the top fabric up, it just worked.)

7 columns were stitched together one night ... and we took a bunch pf seams out.  We definitely should not sew late on a Saturday night. 

It took one night of pinning all of the rest of the columns together.  [We watched Mary Poppins with the kids and I pinned strips together.]  One day of sewing columns.  One long day of sewing all of the columns together.   I think it turned out pretty fantastic.

It's upside down, but my sister and I are the only two that will know that.
 I'm not sure if you can tell, but the points match amazingly.  I pressed the 'odd' column strip seams up and the 'even' column strip seams down.  The seams nested together and with careful pinning the seams look great.  Occasionally we had to try again on the curved blocks. :)

My sister also designed the back.  It took us a little less than a day to piece this.  [Uh, we goofed on the amount of chartreuse fabric needed, so we had to run to the fabric store to get some more.]

[Ugh.  And we forgot to make the back 2 inches bigger all around than the front when drawing it up in sketch-up.  So the 'groove' is 2" shorter than the rest.  My sister is going to piece in extra fabric later.]

I think the quilt is gorgeous ... and I can't wait to see how my sister quilts it.

pattern: Groove by Carolina Patchworks - with some modifications by us.
fabric: Kona cotton in: azure, willow, white, chartreuse and black
size: 117" x 99"
time: less than 2 weeks with two of us working on it over Christmas break.

13 January 2014

quilt for my sister

While working on the quilts for my nieces and nephew, I decided my sister needed a quilt.  Yes, she could make one herself, but where is the fun of that?

I let her pick out her own fabric and she choose azure minky from fabric.com.  It's a really pretty blue/deep turquoise color.   It's more blue-y than their snapshot, but it gives an idea of the fabric color.

But what to do for the front?  I spent some time on fabric.com looking for some prints to go with it.  I didn't find anything I liked.  My sister found a few, but I still didn't like them.  Azure blue is just hard to match.  I figured I needed to start somewhere, so I picked a solid - Kona cotton alegria blue - on-line.  I figured if nothing else, it would work for the binding.  It ended up being lighter than the back, but in the same color family, so it would work.  [Occasionally I'm lucky with guessing colors off of the monitor.]

I liked a stack of fabric that I found on from the blue chair - gray, aqua, lime, and red.   I headed to my local fabric store to try to mimic it.  Epic fail.  I couldn't find anything I liked.  Did I mention that it was the first week of December and I really wanted it done by Christmas?  My next thought was a rainbow.  But I didn't like that once I laid out the fabric.  So I tried for just a few colors.  An orange, a lime green, a blue, and gray.  Then I added in either a lighter or darker shade.  But was was bored with squares - so I decided on equilateral triangles.  A few quick tutorials from pinterest, and I thought I could do it.

The color choices: alegria blue, pacific, orange, tangerine, chartreuse, lime, iron, and coal.  All Kona cotton.

I cut out 5.75 strips of fabric and cut out equilateral triangles using the 60 degree line on my ruler.  I laid them out one night and tried to make it as random as I could.  I think it turned out pretty cool.

It came together really smoothy.  I just focused on keeping the seam allowances accurate, pinned the points on the strips, and it just worked.  Most of the points turned really nice.  They're not all perfect - but it's pretty good.  It took about a week to get it pieced and a little less to quilt it.  At that point, I wasn't feeling too great, so I sewed the binding on and put it in my suitcase.  [Binding and letters in pacific blue, background of letters in iron.]  I figured I could hand sew the binding down when I got home.  [It's just as easy to sit and watch Netflix at Mom and Dad's.] :)

It's not very 'girly' looking, but I like it.  Hopefully my sister does too.

Now to make one for me!

size: 60" wide by 75" tall
fabric: azure minky from fabric.com.  Kona cotton: alegria blue, pacific, orange, tangerine, chartreuse, lime, iron, and coal.
straight line quilting 1/4" away from all seam lines on my Janome by me.

06 January 2014

Christmas quilts

I'm a blanket person. I like to have them around and I love to sleep with them. Even when I travel I find a way to stuff a blanket into my suitcase or backpack. My sister is the same way. It's no surprise that her kids are the same way. They love to drag their quilts around in the morning and find a spot over an air vent to curl up in.  But only two of them had a snuggly blanket/quilt like that - and they were getting a little old due to being loved. :)

Early in the year (May?) she mentioned making quilts for all 4 kids for Christmas.  I had her family for Christmas this year, so perfect gifts.  Easy-peasy.   4 quilts by December is easily do-able - right?  If I kept the pattern simple and the quilting straight lines, it was possible.  I pictured minky on the back (soft and snuggly) with squares on the front of Kona Cotton.  I wanted them big enough they'd last for a long time, so 60" wide fabric by 2 yards should be perfect.  5" finished squares so the math would be easy.  Fabric.com advertises that they cut 37" yards ... so if they cut generously, I thought I could make them 60" x 75".  To add to the fun, I'd put their names into the quilt tops using the paper pieced alphabet from 'from blank pages ...'.  (Must be able to prove quilt ownership!)  We perused fabric.com for minky fabric for the quilt backs and let the older two kids 'pick' their fabric from a pre-selected few.  Fabric for two quilts was ordered in July and I spent most of August looking for fabrics to coordinate with them.  Fabric for the next 2 was ordered on 9 September with a few more pieces on 22 October.  You'd think I'd get started on the quilts right away ... but I procrastinated until September. :) 

First up, C.  He's 7.   Do you know how hard it is to find fabric for a 7 year old boy that he doesn't consider 'baby-ish'?  We found camouflage minky and I immediately knew what this quilt needed to be.  Gray camo on one side, squares of different gray fabric on the other with binding in his favorite color, orange.     

The fabrics on the front are Kona Cotton: pepper (looks black), charcoal, steel, slate (the blue color), medium gray, iron, coal, and ash.  All cut in 5.5" squares.  Kona cotton orange for the letters and binding.  The background for the letters is iron.  It's 60" wide by 75" tall.  The perfect size for snuggling under and it should grow with him.  I think this is the first quilt I did a random placement of fabric on.  Random and being an engineer does not mix for me, but I some how managed it on this quilt. 

I think I had the top pieced by the beginning of October.

Next up, A.  She's 9.  It took some time to find the right fabric for her.  Not baby-ish, cool looking, lots of colors, and something that a teenager would find okay in the future.  We found a paisley print that she liked.  When it came, I was a little worried about the white background.  The picture on the computer screen did not look like it had white on it.  It's a cute fabric ... and she is older, so hopefully it will be okay.  But I made sure the quilts for the younger kids did not have white on them.

I originally tried a random layout, but these colors - which really do match the back - were just too bright and it didn't look right.  Then I tried diagonal stripes.  Too boring for A.  I tried lots of things while they were spread out on my 'design wall' on the floor and finally fell across the diagonal lines with alternating colors.  It was my favorite.  Plus I wanted her name to be in colors, so it worked out well.

The colors are Kona Cotton: turquoise, peacock, pomegranite, camilla, lime, iron, purple, and amythest.  Size: 60" wide x 75" tall.  Bound in purple.  I finished piecing the top the 2nd week in October and then quilted and bound both A and C's quilts over the next few weeks. The quilting is simple straight line machine quilting 1/4" away from each seam.

Next, K.  She's 4.  She likes the color purple.  We searched and searched and finally came up with a really cool minky print with purple on a silver background. I tried to pull in all of the colors from the back for the front - but it just didn't work.  Once I decided to just focus on purple, this quilt came together fast.

I ordered most of the colors on-line, using my out-of-date Kona Cotton color card and hoping the colors on the computer screen would work.  They ended up perfect.  The colors are: regal, purple, tulip, mulberry, crocus, wisteria, pansy, and thistle.  The letters and binding are tulip with the name background thistle.

Size: 60" wide by 75" tall.  I had the top pieced by Thanksgiving and got it quilted over the holiday.

Next, G's quilt.  She's 9 months, so she really doesn't care about fabric, but I think my sister chose a cute print for her.  Again, I tried to pull in colors from the back and got a response 'she's a little girl, make it pink'.  Do you know how hard it is to find colors that actually are pink?  I ordered some fabric on-line and it was a total fail.  Colors that looked pink suddenly turned coral when placed next to others - or they looked red.    Others looked very different on the computer screen and then looked identical when they arrived.  I went to every fabric store in town searching for just the right shades of pink with just okay results.  I finally realized I was just going to have to make do with the fabric I had and cut it out.

I didn't like 2 of the colors at all, but I was running out of time.  In my scraps I had some Kona Cotton that was labeled 'bright pink'.  I thought that would work perfectly in the quilt.  I had bought it at JoAnn's previously, so I thought it would be easy to find.   No such luck at either store in town.  The next day I started google-ing to try and find more stores within a 50 mile radius that carried Kona Cotton to try and find some new colors.  I was out of time to order on-line if I wanted it done by Christmas.  I couldn't believe what popped up.  Hobby Lobby.  And their web site said they carried 'bright pink'.  I went there immediately after work and found 'bright pink' along with another color.  Yea!  (And yes, Hobby Lobby has a huge sign on the wall that says 'Kona Cotton' ... but I never remembered seeing it.)

The final colors are a mixture of Kona Cotton and Bella Solids.  berry, berrylicious (Bella), bright pink, azalea, peony (Bella), carnation, medium pink, and petal.  Her name and binding is in bright pink with the name background in petal.

I love how it turned out.  Perfectly pink for a little girl.  It's also 60" wide by 75" tall.  She'll grow into it.  This quilt was done the fastest - in just a little over a week in December.

The quilts were washed with 'Shout color catchers' individually and they crinkled up ever so nicely.  I boxed them up and sent home via UPS while I watched the tracking the entire time.  4 quilts in a box weighted 17.8 lbs.  Yup, they weigh a bit over 4lbs each.

Then I had to wait to see the reactions on Christmas.  I think they like their quilts.  The 3 older kids slept with their blankets each night and during the day they were used as forts.  K informed me several times that her quilt was going home with her because it had her name on it.   Complete and total win. :)  All the work it took to make them was totally worth it.

fabric - minky fabric from fabric.com.  Kona cotton and Bella solids for the fronts.  5" finished squares.
size - 60" wide x 75" tall.  (Thanks fabric.com for giving me a smidge extra on 2 yards of fabric).
straight line quilting by me on my Janome

22 November 2013

updated scripture bag

In September, my nephew earnestly explained to me that his scripture bag was 'babyish' and he would like a new one. (Yup, he's 7.) I started searching for boy fabric that wasn't 'babyish' and did not have pictures of skulls and crossbones. [Not that I have anything against that fabric ... I just don't think it should be used for a church bag.]  I first thought of camouflage, but when I fell across this Star Wars fabric at JoAnns (Camelot fabrics: Star Wars Schematics), I immediately called his Mom to get his approval.

The patten is my 'basic scripture bag' pattern blogged about here.  Navy blue duck cloth, Star Wars fabric, and orange Kona cotton.  As an added bonus, the font is 'Star Jedi'.  The lining is the Star Wars fabric with a pocket.

It was a quick project until I realized I sewed the lining in upside down.  I had already trimmed the corners, so I ended up cutting a new lining.  

I had left over fabric, so I made a pillow case.  I thought he'd enjoy examining the fabric in great detail.  It made for a pretty happy 7 year old and I'm enjoying 'favorite Aunt' status again.

19 November 2013

bucket bags

Two of my favorite people turned 12 this month and I decided they needed a bag.  (Everyone needs a bag!)

This is a new-to-me pattern - 'Bucket bag' by michellepatterns.com.  I snagged it on one of her '$5 Friday' sales.  The pattern calls for 3/4 yard of exterior fabric and 1/2 yard of interior fabric.   I found both exterior fabrics at JoAnns (thanks to Dad for helping me pick them out).  The linings are Kona cotton that I had for other projects.   

The bottom is an oval and I really like the darts in the outside front pocket.  I changed just a couple of things.  I added fleece interfacing to the lining.  I really like the firmness and body it adds to bags.  I added an interior pocket - I used the outside pocket piece without the contrasting top piece and without the darts.  Then I added magnetic snaps to the top.  I wasn't sure if the magnetic snap would be able to be used ... but I love the look of them in the top of bags, so I added it.

It took an evening to cut out the two bags (cut out the bags, cut out 1 layer of Decor Bond interfacing for all pieces, cut out 1 layer of fusible fleece interfacing for the lining.).  They sewed up really quickly - I figure most bags take more time to cut out than it does to sew them.  Both bags were complete with two short evenings of sewing.

I really like these bags.  They were quick to sew, didn't take that much fabric, and my 12 year old friends looked really cute with their bags on Sunday.

Stats:  Fabric from JoAnns + Kona Cotton
size: 12" wide x 14" high x 5" deep

08 November 2013


A niece of mine, M. loves to play school.  Her favorite accessory while playing is Grandma's scissors on a lanyard.  For her birthday, I thought she needed her own.

I glanced at a few tutorials on Pinterest ... and did my own thing. 

These were super fast.  Cut 1.5" x ~36" of two fabrics.  Sew them together along the long edge.  Iron.  Fold the outside edges in so that they touch the seam allowance in the center.  Iron.  Topstitch down both sizes. 

She is just turning 6, so I wanted to make sure this was safe for her to wear around her neck, so I put Velcro at the ends (1.5").  As a bonus, the Velcro hides the raw ends of the fabric.

As a final touch, I made some name tags for her and then found some spare keys (that I have no idea what they go to) to attach to the clips.  Quick and easy birthday present that I hope she enjoys.

one fish, two fish, pink fish, aqua fish

I finished this quilt the end of January 213.  But for some reason, I never got pictures of the final quilt.  [hmm, procrastination followed by a broken camera.]

This quilt pattern is called 'kissy fish' by Freshly Pieced out of 3 charm packs of 'Bliss' by Bonnie and Camille.  I re-worked the pattern to make it charm pack friendly.

It looks like I finished piecing the 'fishies' around February 26, 2012 and couldn't decide on a layout.  I remember it taking multiple tries to use all of the squares I had.

Every time I tried to work on it, it just screamed 'PINK'. Which is a perfectly good color - and I do like it at times - but not in this quilt. My sister recommended a aqua boarder to bring out the aqua fishies. 

It still looked really busy to me, so I started matching up 'like' fishies  and I liked it again.  On went the aqua boarder (Kona cotton aqua) at the end of March and I snapped a few pictures on the fence.

Why yes, there is a boarder missing.  I ran out of fabric.  Evidently I used that excuse for a very long while.  The next pictures I have are of the quilting in January 2013.

I sewed along each side of the fishy squares and then did a wavy stitch in the boarders.

I though it looked a little like water.  As a bonus it was pretty easy to do.  Here's a snapshot of the back.

Just in case I ever want to do it again, here's the snapshot from my sewing machine.  Stitch 9, width 5.0, length 2.5

Here it is - finished and finally photographed.  This quilt took way too long to finish.  Can you tell I'm no longer in love with it?  :)  I thought I'd really like the fabric - but the red and pink are just too overwhelming for me.  I do love the aqua prints.  The green is one of my favorite shades.  Adore the polk-a-dots.  But it just didn't turn out like I was envisioning.  I think some projects are just that way.  Someday it will find it's way to someone who loves it.

Pattern: Kissy Fish
Fabric: Bliss by Bonnie and Camille, Kona cotton aqua
Finished pieced ~March 2012, quilted January 2013.

Here's a picture of  the quilt out of 'Good Fortune' fabric by Kate Spain done by my sister that she finished piecing over Christmas 2012.  I love her version. :)

14 August 2013

dresses for a princess

One of the blogs I read, Cut To Pieces started a 'pretty princess sew along' in January.  
Cut To Pieces
She used a simple peasant style dress - Simplicity 2377 and with fabric and trim made princess dresses. One pattern, lots of dresses.  But every day princess dresses that little girls could pull on all by themselves.  That were washable!  I loved them.  She did Alice in Wonderland, Rapunzel, and Minnie Mouse.   

I have a niece turning 3 this summer, so I decided she needed a few dresses.  I made Aurora (Sleeping Beauty), Rapunzel, and Cinderella.

They went together really fast. The hardest part was choosing the fabrics. To do that, I took my 'little people princesses' to the fabric store and used them to decide on fabric and trim.  I do love that Hobby Lobby has their ribbon on sale for1/2 off every other week.

The ribbon on the bottom of  Aurora's dress is made from the sleeve fabric and my bias tape maker.  The sleeves on Rapunzel's dress are two different fabrics sewn in stripes.  Cinerella's hip-poof things are a half circle that took 3 tries to get right.  I did put a ribbon in the back neckline so that K could tell front from back - but I really don't think she cares. :)  They sew up really fast - 1-2 evenings of sewing will finish a dress including all of the trim..  

They don't scream 'I'm a princess dress' ... but K knew what each one was.  I brought them with me in June when I went to visit my sister and her kids.  (C. got origami paper and a book, A got to make a skirt all by herself - so they weren't left out.)  K wore the 3 dresses in rotation (one dress in the morning, another after quiet time), so we decided she needed a couple more.  Off to the fabric store and we had fabric for Belle (Beauty and the Beast) and Minne Mouse.

I think Minne Mouse and Rapunzel are my favorites ... but I really like them all.    

I made one more for K for her birthday - Snow White.  The sleeves took two attempts and the ribbon took 3 ... but it still sewed up reasonably fast.  But with a broken camera ... I'll have to wait and get a picture of it later.

Update: K was kind enough to pose for 'first day of school' pictures with her siblings.  Isn't it cute!

pattern: Simplicity 2377
fabric: various from JoAnn's and stash with ribbon from Hobby Lobby and JoAnn's.
Thanks to 'Cut to Pieces' for coming up with the idea and writing the tutorials!

23 June 2013

Quilt for G

In March, my sister had her forth baby - G. She's adorable and she needed a quilt. My sister didn't peak, so G. being a girl was a surprise and I was unprepared with a pattern. I love pinwheel patterns, so my sister and I spent some time on Pinterest trying to find what we were looking for.  We found several we liked, but I decided that I liked the 'dilly dally' pattern by Thimble Blossom with sashing between the squares the best. 

Off to the fabric store to figure out what colors.  I wanted it girly - but not too girly - with lots of colors.  I found this fabric - 'diddly dot' by Michael Miller in orchid.  It's got bright colors, girl colors, and I liked the green in it. 

The hard part was now finding fabric that matched the dots.  Armed with my 'Kona cotton color card', I sat in the driveway and tried to find matches.  Then I hit up the local quilt shops that had 'Moda Bella solids' to see what they had.  I decided on:

Peony (Bella)
Petal (Kona)
Peacock (Bella)
Aqua (Bella)
Amethyst (Kona)
Thistle  (Kona)
Cactus (Kona Solid)
Key Lime (yet a different brand of quilt fabric that I can't remember)
with Coal (Kona) for sashing.

I was a little worried about the Key Lime - but my idea was to have the colors in the 'diddly dot' fabric plus a lighter version (like the pink in the fabric).  (Note: when your gut tells you it's not right, don't keep on going.   But I generally don't listen to that voice until later.)

I drew up the pattern with Google Sketch-up.  My first time using it and it was a bit of a learning curve.  I'll definitely use it again.

I cut 5 inch squares and paired them up with white Kona cotton and sewed around the edges to create half square triangles

Those turned into 5" pinwheels.

I used a 2" square of white and sewed it diagonally across each corner.  I loved the way they turned out, but this step was a lot of work.  Sew, open seams, fold back fabric out of the way, trim _just_ the right layers, and iron.  But they turned out great.

I saw a paper pieced alphabet pattern on Pinterest by 'from blank pages ...' and decided this quilt was a great excuse to buy it.  I enlarged the pattern so that the letters were about 4" tall.  The piecing was a bit fiddly, but it wasn't bad.  It helps that I adore how they turned out.

I laid it out one Thursday night with 1" sashing - after playing 'sodoku' to determine that every row and column only had all 8 colors - and took pictures.  I loved it.  But looking down from the balcony, I realized that they 'Key Lime' fabric blended way too much into the background.

I wanted to take this quilt - finished - with me when I was visiting my sister in June and I was running out of time.  I had exactly 1 week and it still needed to be put together and quilted.  But I really didn't like the 'key lime' color in this quilt.  I decided to sleep on it.

(Like my 'design wall'.  Its a vinyl-ish table cloth from Walmart on the floor.  The fabric sticks to the backing!)

I didn't like it any better in the morning.  The 'Cactus' color is a left over from C's quilt, so I dug through the fabric left overs to see if there was another color that would work.  I found 'Lime' (Kona cotton) and laid it out.  I had to get over the fact that I wasn't using the colors from the back of the quilt plus a lighter shade (I'm an engineer, I like patterns.)  But it worked.  I liked the contrast and it still worked great with the 'Cactus'.  It worked really well.  Friday night I made 9 more blocks and laid them out.  It made a huge difference.

I pieced the top together over a long Saturday of sewing.  I'm always amazed at how long it takes to sew the top together once blocks are done.  I suppose that sashing doesn't speed up the process. :)

I made the quilt sandwich Sunday and started quilting Monday night.  (The day job occasionally gets in the way!).  I quilted the sashing in one night and then had to figure out what to do with the pinwheel flowers.  I tried several ideas before I decided on sewing 1/8" inside around them.   Two nights and the pinwheels were done.   Thursday was binding and it went into the wash by 10:30pm.  I pulled it of the dryer the next morning and stuffed it in the top of my suitcase and dashed to the airport.

It's the only niece/nephew quilt that isn't hand quilted ... and I'm okay with that.  I think it turned out pretty darn great.

Plus my sister was surprised that I had it finished!  G. looks pretty darn cute on her quilt.  I hope she enjoys it.

Finished size: 45 x 45
Pattern inspired by 'Dilly Dally' by Thimble Blossom
Colors: Peony, Peacock, Aqua (Moda Bella Solids); Petal, Amethyst, Thistle, Lime, Cactus, White, and Coal (Kona Cotton Solid).  Backing: Diddly Dots by Michael Miller.
Quilted with a light grey thread and 2 layers of cotton Pellon batting.