Friday, May 27, 2011

Bee Happy doorway block for Kelly

Year 2 of Bee Happy... Month 1! New Bee member, Kelly asked for us to make doors and windows. Haven't gotten to the window yet, but here's my door... Along with it's inspiration from the hood and practice square (from yesterday's castoff pile!) kelly's square is the purple one.

I tried my hand at free motion sewing for the "welcome" mats. (took a free motion class at Sew Modern last month and am feeling way more confident!)
The practice square still needs flowers for it's vase, but they'll be added later.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Highchair recover

Our highchair is 6 years old and it was looking like it. Baby isn't a complainer, but I found in addition to the fabric being seriously stained, the inner batting of the cover was all balled up right in one spot that was somewhere under his right thigh.
I was making some big totes the other night with that awesome Ikea red polka-dotted laminate fabric and whipped this up too. It's got a double layer of fleece blankets also from ikea in it for a soft cushion. The whole thing cost less than $10 to recover.
Don't look closely. The stitching is NOT fabulous. But it's sturdy, comfy, and it reverses (doesn't everything?) to a brown nylon ripstop. And baby seems to like it.
(plus now it matches the kitchen... and everything else in my life!)

Miracles happen here

I drive past this sign every day. It's not on a church. I love the confidence it takes to print this and stick it on the side of a convalescent hospital.
And I want to wear it on my heart.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Color inspiration

There's a store in LA that I drive by regularly that sells bridesmaid dresses. I'm not exactly in the market, but these dresses continually catch my eye. This particular grouping really inspired my color sense... And prior to the hot pink dress being there, there was a leaf green one that offset these colors well too. (I think the photo I took has an accidental reflection of a tree in it that can give you an idea of how it looked)

Anyhow, you can see I grabbed some paint chips at Home Depot as I couldn't get the combo off my mind. And then I went home and picked fabrics to go in the scheme.

The photo with the blue newsprint fabric in it holds my final pics for a project... But the castoffs also made a great pile too...

Both of them are a little out of my comfort zone... Softer combos than I normally stick with, but I'm excited to use them.

Big sampler quilt finished

We slept under the finished sampler last night. Oh that made me so happy. Z was in tears this morning when he didn't have time to snuggle under "Mommy's biggest quilt ever" and I promised him he could rest in my bed after preschool today. The cutest thing is that he doesn't normally want to rest after school... The quilt is a big enough draw for him, though, to consider taking a rest.
I was folding the quits in our living room basket last night and laughing at how small they all look now. Gotta say, I kinda like the big ones. I think they are worth the extra effort.

Sunday, May 22, 2011


Last year a family of birds nested in the jasmine that blocks our bedroom window from view... So we had a phenomenally close view from the inside of their private little home. For payment of that private show, we had to give up fruit from our trees and had to deal with a bird that flew into my studio one day (remember that?)
This year a different family of birds took over the spot. I think they are robins. It's precious to hear the cheeping babies every morning and though I couldn't get a good shot of them in the nest, you can kind of see how their white downy heads stand out from the brown little home.

The other photo is just a pic of one of my favorite pendants... I was wearing it yesterday in the forest and felt like it wanted its pic taken out there with it's inspiration.
Though I have a love-hate affair with birds (Z is convinced I'm allergic to pigeons and I am too)... Little birdie nests are always an inspiration for me.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Beautiful Day

J and I were blessed to get a few hours to hang out in Monrovia Canyon today with other couples from our church. One of the highlights for both of us was time together/alone in the forest, by a creek in the sunshine. It was so gorgeous there!

I took these pics with my iPhone and for three of them, I played in apps to make them pretty- but the tree trunk one is as I took it with my phone... I would love this all blown up huge..

(my awesome hubby took the kids home and let me attend the LAMQG weekend sew for a few hours, too.)

Friday, May 20, 2011


J planted some dahlias in our front and back yards today. I was captured by their mysteriously large and elegant blooms.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Inspiration weekend

J spoiled me this weekend and took me wine tasting in Los Olivos. It's amazing that only 125 miles from LA, there is this type of beauty and quiet.

We stayed in town - which is so small that it doesn't even have a stoplight. Talk about getting away. It was so nice to just be together and be a couple of people in love instead of a couple of parents.

Special thanks to the friends and family that took care of the kids and gave us a much needed breath of fresh air.

Finished sampler top (WIP)

It's too big to get a good pic, but here's the back and front of my queenish/kingish sized sampler quilt using all my Bee Happy squares. Only one fabric was bought (the green border for the squares) for the project.
It's also really windy in LA today so it was hard to get a good pic, but I wanted to take them before I make the quilt sandwich.

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Thursday, May 12, 2011

WIP - a different kind of sampler

I was going to post a posed picture of the boys on my latest project. But that isn't real life. Real life is toys in the living room, and me trying to fit this enormous project into my tiny house. So this is a little more like it.
At the end of the first year of the "Bee Happy" quilting bee, I had 12 squares made with what I'd considered "trash fabric" - stuff I was completely sick of looking at in my stash. I'd made one for each month as a memento of the bee member and her month's project. Many times over the year, I have wondered if it was even possible to make something pretty with these seemingly ugly or lame squares (in my opinion)... But I also love challenges like that and I recently took the squares on a shopping trip to find them a sash fabric (the only fabric I bought for this entire project!)... The green seems to stabilize them a little and last night I raided my stash for anything that might work to make a quilt with these.
The funny thing is that I didn't want another lap/nap size quilt... (a little tired of those) and I figure as long as I make quilts, I may as well make ones that are big enough to cuddle under. So as I sketched layout designs - not just wanting to make another boring sashed sampler quilt, my design kept getting bigger and bigger and now we are in trouble! This quilt is going to be a BIG queen and my little machine is going to be super interesting to work with for it, but I'm game.
I actually am liking this so much that I'm thinking it may end up in use on my bed until I get my Seams Perfect mod mosaic quilt made up.
(I'm so excited about all these)
I've not seen many samplers with interesting layouts, so I think this one will be fresh... More pics to come as I finish the top and back. (I finished the top last night as at midnight tore it up a little to alter the design)

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Skirting around in May

It's like clockwork... Every May I want to sew myself new skirts and dresses. Remember the year I made all those dresses for my trip to Italy? No big travel plans this year, but somehow it feels more spring/summer/vacation-y to make myself some new skirts.
This one has been on my to-do list in my mind for a while... I'm so happy I made it... The sheer volume of the yellows is enough to make me happy and the trim is more of my friend Yolanda's fun herringbone that she sent me... (same as the binding for that last quilt)
The shirt, you ask? I went to the Velvet brand sample sale yesterday and scored some more of my favorite tops. These are the ones that look awesome with my Libby Dibby skirts (and pretty much everything else you can think of)
Um, yeah, I do know they don't match. In my world they do... As my friend, Tifanie said this week... Now that she's 30 (younger than me!), the desire to be matchy matchy doesn't exist anymore. I think I'm a bit more than 5 years into that discovery. Guess what? I'm totally on the road to being one of those 80 year old ladies with red and purple hats. In the meantime, I'm loving this yellow and coral combo.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Christmas gifts for mothers day

Its done! It only took me about 6 months to make... And I loved every bit of working on it. I bought the pattern from Amy Smart (flickr name: "another amy") and in my opinion it's one of the more sophisticated scrap quilt patterns out there. I just love how this turned out...
I think it's between a twin and full size quilt, and I get to give it to my parents as an extra Mother's Day gift this weekend... Since I didn't make Easter...

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

My swap goodies!

My swappy partner made me these adorable items for the LAMQG home goods swap! Jamie is known for making great log cabin drawstring project bags and composition book covers, so I feel quite privileged to be the recipient of both... Then she made me a scrappy scrap bucket for my scrappy self.... I love it and the kids oooooh'd and aaaaaah'd all over it. (something I HAVEN'T made before!)
I took the pic of all these so that Jamie could see how well they fit into my world of color... Big thanks, Jamie!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

LAMQG swap

IMG_2080 by n.ramirez
IMG_2080, a photo by n.ramirez on Flickr.

Another funny pic from the LAMQG meeting. I meant to get a photo of this pillow before I gave it to my partner Patsy, but I didn't, so fortunately, Nicole got a pic of me giving it to Patsy when we had our home goods swap last night. It was a color scheme that was a real stretch for me and yet I had fun with it. I made a ticker tape pillow for her, mostly because I love making ticker tape stuff and there's simply never enough opportunities to do it.... I also added in a little quilted pouch (as I am prone to do) and a mod podged candle that matched the set.
I'll post what I got in the swap later.
woot! (mine came in the mail today!)

Monday, May 2, 2011

Hoops for Japan update

Well, Z did it! He had his Hoops for Japan event with 8 family members and friends watching and he shot 145 baskets on his 7.5ft hoop in one hour!
Once we did our math, we realized that this preschooler was able to raise close to $2500 for Japan all of his own accord!
If you would like to donate, here's the information that J sent out last week:

Zane was feeling it during his shoot-a-thon for Japan and made 145 shots in 60 mins - it was awesome! Here is the information for where to give. We contacted them and they are very excited about Zane - they have created a special fund, so when you send money, write that it is for "Hoops for Japan"-and tell a friend
P.O. Box 193223
San Francisco, CA 94119-3223
Here are the pics
Apr 29 at 10:47am

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Christmas in May

Well. At least it looks like Mom and Dad will get last years Christmas gift for Mothers' Day this year. Only 5 months later. Tonight (while listening to breaking news on the tv), I'm putting the final quilting stitches into the quilt, and then all that's left is the binding and hooray! (it took long enough!)
What a joy this quilt has been to make. Outdoor full pics when I finish later this week.
It's officially May. For some reason, I love sewing myself new skirts and dresses every May. (made 2 skirts yesterday without a pattern, pics to come)



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