Category Archives: family

Announcing the Giveaway Winners

I’m popping in to announce the three winners of the giveaway connected to my 10th Blogging Anniversary aka 10th Blogiversary. I asked people entering the giveaway to tell me about their favorite color combination. Using a Random Number Generator found online, I was able to identify the the three winners very quickly. And here they are . . .

Linda B., who wrote, “What a lovely and generous way to celebrate your blog’s anniversary! So hard to pick a favorite color combo, but pretty much any combination of blues and greens is hard to beat.”

C. Cullen, who commented, “I love blue and white. Congratulations on 10 years!”

Bridget, who said, “Ten years and I have loved so many of your posts! Congrats! I am not sure how this happened, I hate orange but right now I am liking orange and cream combos or maybe orange and yellow…um 😉 Oh, hey, maybe it is a lack of sunshine this spring! lol”

Ladies, I will email you to find out which giveaway item you would like me to make for you — a pair of standard or kingsize pillowcases, a rotary cutter coat, or a pair of quilted oven mitts. I’ll also ask you to give me an idea of your color preferences for your item of choice so I can send you photos of some fabric combinations to consider.

My thanks to each and every person who left a comment on my blog. It was fun to read about your favorite color combos. And many of you wrote such nice things about my blog! I am so very grateful for your interest and support. You all are the reason I reached my 10th blogiversary.

In my post announcing the giveaway, I noted that family members could leave comments but would be ineligible to win. My sister Reigh left this comment: “I wanted to win oven mitts in blue and yellow! First time it’s ever been a disadvantage to be your sister! Oh well, I wouldn’t change a thing. Love you!” Dearest Reigh, your wish is my command. You couldn’t win the giveaway but you’ll still get your oven mitts. Love you, too!

 

 

 

Posted in family, Giveaway, home dec, oven mitts, roll-it-up pillowcases, rotary cutter case, tutorial, update | 6 Comments

Giveaway Extended!

I’ve decided to extend the giveaway celebrating my 10th blogging anniversary (aka my 10th Blogiversary) through Saturday. I’ll be out of town for a few days so it makes sense to wrap things up after my return. If you meant to register for my giveaway (announced on my blog on May 1) and let it slide, you have a second chance.

I’m in Portland, Oregon so you can enter up until midnight Saturday, May 14, Pacific Daylight Time (PDT). Winners will be announced on Sunday. The giveaway is open to both domestic and international visitors to my blog.

I’m giving away three prizes made by me – a rotary cutter coat (pictured above), a pair of oven mitts . . .

. . . and a pair of standard or king size pillowcases:

But wait – there’s more! The winners get to pick the item they prefer — and the fabrics. I’ll find out what colors they like and give them some choices. If the handmade items I’m offering don’t appeal to you, think about them as gifts for friends or family members. Oven mitts, in particular, make great gifts. There’s even a hashtag for that: #ovenmittsmakegreatgifts.

To enter the giveaway, all you have to do is go to this post and respond in the comment section to the question: “What is your favorite color combo?” It’s been fun to see the responses so far, many of which mirror the color combos near and dear to my heart.

I’m sorry to say I’ve spent precious little time in my sewing room of late. What could possibly take me away from My Happy Place? The answer: the White House Garden. I have been helping the Dear Husband get our front and back yard ready for planting. I have to be honest: spending time in the garden is at the very bottom of my list of things I want to do. But we’ve had such a cold and soggy spring in Portland that I feel I have to help the DH take advantage of the (fairly) dry and (partly) sunny days to make up for lost time.

My DH moves a bit slower than he used to so I’m stealing time away from my sewing room to help him do the thing that makes his heart sing. I will always be a reluctant gardener but . . . I must confess:  there is a great deal of satisfaction to be gained from getting a few feet of land freed of weeds, an overgrown bush trimmed back, a lawn and leaf bag filled and hauled to the curb. I just don’t want to make a habit of it!

I’ll be back on Sunday with the names of the winners. Good luck!

P.S. Instructions for all three prizes are included in the Tutorials page on my website, which you can find at this link.

 

 

 

Posted in family, Giveaway, home dec, oven mitts, roll-it-up pillowcases, rotary cutter case, tutorial, update | 3 Comments

Presenting . . . Baby Isabella’s Quilt

Isabella’s Quilt, 40″ x 44″ (2020)

Not only is Baby Isabella’s quilt finished, Isabella herself has arrived! She was due around May 8 but was born on April 27, weighing in at a robust 9 pounds, 3 ounces. Mama and baby are doing fine; Papa and brothers are over the moon. I was able to deliver Isabella’s quilt this afternoon so now I can show you the entire quilt rather than the sneak peeks of the last few weeks.

See the big shooting star on the front of the quilt? I love that effect! Isn’t it amazing how a few strategically placed half-square triangles can convey an image?

Here’s a look at the simple pieced back:Isabella’s Quilt was adapted from the Star Stream Quilt pattern by Sally Davies of Chasing Tigers:

I saw a different version online that had been kitted by a quilt shop, with the quilt called Shooting Stars Quilt. It took a little sleuthing to identify the original designer. I wound up buying the pattern from the quilt shop as well as from Chasing Tigers since the latter contained additional information.

I knew right away I would make only a portion of the original design, using just two stars and enlarging them for maximum graphic effect. My fabric selection didn’t occur until I found out my granddaughter Bethany was expecting a girl this spring. The two pieces of cherry-themed fabric from an older line by Holly Holderman for Lakehouse Dry Goods were the perfect choice.

My original plan was to use a white-on white print for the background but as I pulled light and medium light greens from my stash to audition for the two star blocks . . .

. . . I was inspired  to incorporate several of the prints to create a low volume background for a subtle patchwork-y effect. I think it makes the quilt much more interesting — and probably more practical in the long run.

I find the color combo of pink and green so fresh and appealing. It speaks to me of spring, my favorite season of the year. Right now our Portland, Oregon neighborhood is alive with pink and white dogwood trees and azalea bushes in every shade from palest pink to deepest rose. This was the view from my front porch a couple of days ago:

The sunlight on the dogwood blossoms surrounded by the lush greenery reminds me so much of the colors in Isabella’s Quilt.

Here’s a close-up of the quilting:

Karlee Sandell of SewInspired2Day did a beautiful job on the quilting, using a pale green thread and an edge-to-edge design called “Sashay” by Anne Bright Designs. This is the third quilt I’ve chosen to have quilted with this design; the loops and swirls are such a pleasing counterpoint to all of the straight and diagonal stitching lines.

I had a bit of good fortune when it came to the bias striped binding. I had no idea if the pattern would match when it came time to join the two ends of the binding. Alas! It did not. However, with a bit of gentle but very persistent tugging on the two bias strips, I was able to stretch them to the point I could join the seams in the center of the pale pink section. If you look at the binding on the bottom of the quilt . . .

. . . you will see that the center pink section in the very middle is a bit longer than the others. But it’s almost undetectable. Serendipity!

Now for a look at the label:

As usual, I made a label using a compact disc as my pattern.

The last thing I do before delivering a baby quilt is throw it in the washer and dryer. There’s nothing like the puckery goodness of a freshly laundered quilt:

Welcome to the world, Baby Isabella!

 

 

 

Posted in baby quilt, family, update | 9 Comments

Another Sneak Peek

I can’t help myself! I’m giving you another sneak peek of Baby Isabella’s quilt. I attached the binding last night and I have to pose this question:  Is the binding fabric not a match made in Quilt Heaven with the other fabrics in the quilt? You be the judge:

The striped fabric from my stash has the very same colors as Baby Isabella’s quilt but it’s from a completely different line. I cut my binding strips on the diagonal because I love the look of diagonal stripes on quilt binding. On this quilt the binding will finish at 1/2” wide (rather than my usual 1/4”) because I really want to call attention to it. In my view it frames and finishes the quilt beautifully.

You’ll be able to see what I mean at the final reveal. Soon, I hope!

 

 

 

 

Posted in baby quilt, family, update | 9 Comments

I Cannot Resist . . .

. . . giving you a sneak peek at the quilting on Baby Isabella’s quilt:

It’s just back from the longarmer and I can’t take my eyes off it.

In the foreground you see one of two star blocks I previewed a couple of posts ago. The final reveal will be saved until after the quilt has been delivered to the expectant parents, my granddaughter Bethany and her husband. Baby Isabella is scheduled to make her appearance in the next few weeks.

If I weren’t doing my final prep for a quilt workshop tomorrow, I’d be up in my sewing room this very minute trimming the quilt and getting the binding ready. All in good time!

 

 

 

Posted in baby quilt, family | 5 Comments

Two New WIPs

I have a new Work-in-Progress to report:  a baby quilt! Granddaughter Bethany is expecting her fourth child in a few weeks — and it’s a girl! Baby Isabella — yes, she already has a name — will be joining three older brothers. We are all so excited to be welcoming a girl (although a boy would be equally treasured).

One thing I knew for sure in planning this quilt: it would not be “gender neutral.” Baby Isabella’s quilt will be decidedly feminine, meaning: Think Pink! I pulled out a treasured piece from my stash, “Cherry Baby,” a lovely pink and green print from Holly Holderman for Lakehouse Dry Goods, and discovered a companion print, “Cherry Toss,” tucked in with it. I’ve had these fabrics for — oh, a good dozen years. I must have been waiting for the perfect project.

I won’t be showing more until the quilt is done. Bethany follows my blog so I want to keep part of the quilt a surprise for her. I do hope she likes what she sees so far!

I titled this post “Two New WIPs.” I’ve described the Work in Progress underway in my sewing room. And what of the second WIP? Why, it’s Baby Isabella, of course!

 

 

 

Posted in baby quilt, family, update | 4 Comments

“The Isle of Capri”

I’m bringing a little sunshine to the Portland White House with these pillowcases made from “Capri,” Katarina Roccella’s new fabric line for Art Gallery Fabrics. I fell in love with the line when I spotted it in Hawthorne Supply Company‘s weekly email newsletter a couple of weeks ago. It took a few days of daydreaming about it before I yielded to impulse and placed an order.

I was telling my students in a quilting class last week about my — ahem — rather large purchase, which I referred to as “a shopping accident.” One of my students said, “You didn’t have a shopping accident, you had a shopping adventure!” That sounds ever so much better, don’t you think?

I confess: I wound up ordering 10 prints from the line — and I may not be done yet! Just take a look at the fabrics:

Can you see why I fell in love with it? I have no earthly idea what I’m going to make with this luscious array but I did order enough extra of the aqua lemon print to make those pillowcases for the Dear Husband and me. (I used the burrito or roll-it-up method for the pillowcases, using my own tutorial which you can find here.)

I am lucky to have visited the tiny island of Capri several years ago on a trip to Italy with the DH. These pillowcases will be a fond reminder of that trip. They are a fond reminder of something else. When my siblings and I were little, our father used to sing to us. One of the songs he sang was “The Isle of Capri,” whose first two verses go like this:

“Twas on the Isle of Capri that I found her
Beneath the shade of an old walnut tree
Oh, I can still see the flow’rs blooming ’round her
Where we met on the Isle of Capri.

“She was as sweet as a rose in the dawning
But somehow fate hadn’t meant her for me
And though I sail with the tide in the morning
Still my heart’s on the Isle of Capri.”

According to Wikipedia, “The Isle of Capri” was a #1 hit in 1935, the year my father turned 12. The music was written by Will Grosz with lyrics by Jimmy Kennedy. The tempo is described as a tango foxtrot but my dad sang it like a ballad. I love those old romantic songs as much as I love pretty pillowcases.

I’m going to put the new cases on our pillows tonight. Maybe I will dream of Capri!

 

 

 

Posted in family, home dec, roll-it-up pillowcases, update | 12 Comments

More Marvelous Mitts

Oven mitts, that is. I’ve made a few pair recently for friends and family. Tracy’s mitts are a royal blue tone-on-tone floral:

I quilted a 1″ grid which offers a pleasing contrast to the curves of the petals. The lining fabric is a bright blue and yellow paisley print with just a touch of silvery metallic:

Jeanne Ann’s mitts are made of a blue and green filigree fabric that I’ve used in several projects:

These were quilted with random wavy lines, a design I like a lot and can do easily and quickly using my walking foot (no marking lines needed). The lining is the same dotted fabric used for the band at the cuff.

I love that filigree fabric so much I scoured the Internet last week for more and was lucky enough to find a yard. I’m tempted to make a pair of mitts for myself out of it. But wait! I’m using that fabric — as well as the royal blue floral in Tracy’s mitts — in my current Sea Sampler project so I’d better move the idea of new mitts to the back burner. (I don’t need new mitts in any case; the ones I made two years ago look almost new, despite having made multiple trips through the washer and dryer.)

My friends David and Ken embarked on a major kitchen remodel last year so I told them I’d make them a pair of mitts as a “kitchen warming” present. The remodeling project was drawn out much longer than expected due to the pandemic. Shipping delays, mostly. But their kitchen is finished now and so are their mitts:

David gave me an outline of his hand so I could make a custom pattern:

These mitts are considerably larger than the other ones I’ve made so far. In fact, they’re close to the “one size fits all” mitts one sees in the stores – the ones that are too big for me, which is precisely what led me to make my own pattern last year, followed by a tutorial.

Here’s one of David and Ken’s mitts next to one of Tracy’s:

Quite a difference, eh?

Are you ready to make yourself a pair of oven mitts? You can either use my free pattern or follow my directions (in the Prequel to the Tutorial, below) to make a pattern to fit your own hand.

Click here to download the free pattern:
Oven Mitt Pattern, page 1 of 2
Oven Mitt Pattern, page 2 of 2

Oven Mitts that Fit: Prequel to the Tutorial

Oven Mitt Tutorial from First Light Designs, Part 1

Oven Mitt Tutorial from First Light Designs, Part 2

 

 

 

Posted in family, kitchen remodel, oven mitts, tutorial, update | 5 Comments

An Early Christmas Present

Winterwood, the winter version of my Season to Taste table runner/wall hanging series, has a new home:

My sister Diane seemed quite taken with it when she read my previous posts about it so I decided to surprise her and send it to her for Christmas, with instructions to open the package upon arrival rather than waiting till Dec. 25. It arrived yesterday and Diane has already found the perfect place for it. The runner fits the table in the main entry hall perfectly. It was meant to be!

 

 

 

Posted in family, home dec, kaleidoscope quilts, table runner, update, wall hanging | 7 Comments

Welcome . . .

. . . to my sister Diane’s glamorous garage! This is the last of three posts devoted to the new window treatments I made while visiting her over Thanksgiving. To hide the brackets, Diane added tassels:

Such an easy fix, and it ramps up the glam factor considerably. Here’s a close-up:

Over the 20 years Diane and her husband have lived in this house, the garage has undergone a gradual transformation. Since guests enter their home mainly through the garage, it’s important to her that it look nice. She is fortunate to have found a very talented handyman who not only installed the wainscoting but also built the large storage cabinets on the left side of the garage:

Among other things, the cabinets hold her Christmas decorations. No more hauling them down from the attic!

A longer view of the right side:

If you didn’t see part of the garage door on its track above, you might think this was an interior room. I swear, I could live in this garage!

 

 

 

Posted in family, home dec, update, valance | 9 Comments