Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Holiday Banner

Wine of the Day: Running with Scissors - Cabernet Sauvignon

This year for Christmas I decided to make a few presents that I gave people.  My favorite of these I gave to my mom.   The idea for the holiday banner came from a few different locations but I put my own twist on it. 

The letters are cut from felt and glued on with no sew type glue.  Felt worked well because it doesn't fray, but the burlap is another story.  I cut the squares out along one thread on each side so there wouldn't be any little pieces to fall off.  This wasn't enough though.  So, I used a no fray glue around all of the edges and it worked like a charm!

Sewing on the burlap proved easy enough though.  I just used a wide zig zag stitch to ensure that each stitch held onto the burlap.  A red ribbon was sewn onto the back of each piece to string them together.  I just looped the two ends of the ribbon to create a way to hang it.  And then of course I signed it.

After I made this one for my mom I decided to make some for a few other people that said "JOY".  I then wrapped and gave them out without taking any pictures. oops!

Where were the cats when this was happening???

Oh... just hanging out in the Christmas tree!  No big deal.  We're lucky the whole thing isn't on the floor already.

I hope everyone had a lovely and peaceful Christmas this year!  See you in 2013!!!


Monday, December 3, 2012

Baby Blanket Completed

Wine of the Day: DeLoach - Cabernet Sauvignon

The baby blanket is all finished and ready to be delivered to Wes and Kristy!  They still do not know that I made them a quilt so I am nervous and excited to have them open it. 

I am so glad that I went back and redid some of the quilting.  The fabric laid perfectly (well, almost perfectly) flat for me as I sewed on the edge.  The edging I decided to use is white to blend with the border so that the zebra print will stand out. Here is the finished product:


I think the fabric I used for the back was a good choice.  It has flowers in it without being super girly or too baby.   The color should be perfect to go in the nursery as well.  I know one baby that already loves it!  Here is Brutus taking his last snuggle before it goes into the wash. 

 Washed, dried, pressed one last time, and finally signed; the baby blanket is complete. You may notice that I signed this one 2013 when it was actually completed in 2012.  I consulted some crafty friends and the general consensus was to date it for the baby.  She will be arriving in January 2013, so that's the date I used.  I will be delivering it to the soon-to-be new parents this Thursday night at book club (which got rescheduled to Dec. 6, 2012).


Signature: Adventures in Embroidery

Wine of the Day: Flying Fox - Viognier

I have been trying to come up with some sort of signature for my quilts ever since I finished my first quilt.  I looked into everything from sewing on a tag to simply signing the back.  Instead, I decided to embroider my signature.  This way it would be more finished looking than a fabric pen and I could do it in any color to match the quilt.  So here is what I originally came up with:

It's simple enough that I could easily adjust the size to fit the quilt.  I simply wrote a k on the fabric and then did a back stitch over it.  This seemed ideal too so that it is still in my handwriting.  I then moved on to the baby blanket and decided to add a heart like this:

Since it is a gift I wanted it to be more like "Love, Kara" than just a signature.  After consulting some fellow crafters, we decided that all quilts are made with love so I decided to incorporate the heart into all quilts, not just the ones given as gifts.  We also decided that they should really be dated too.  I picked a different color for the date so it would stand off as it's own piece and let the signature be separate.  I also used thinner thread for the date so it would be easier to read since it is so small.

So here it is; the official quilt signature!

Friday, November 16, 2012

Brutus's First Time Helping

Wine of the Day: Zenato - Cormi - Corvina Merlot

Well I did what I said I was going to do and ripped out most of the quilting I had done.  I only left about 3 lines, unstuck the backing from the batting, laid it really flat, pinned the crap out of it and started again.  Who knew that seam ripping would actually take longer than sewing???  I had plenty of help though.

My usual helpers: Lucy and Kahlua.

My new helper: Brutus.
They were all kind enough to lay on the quilt and hold it flat for me as I pinned it.  Then Brutus got distracted.

And, Kahlua decided to lay down on the job.  Unfortunately, she wanted to lay behind the machine as I was trying to quilt causing quite the backup.

I think it's safe to say that she was done being a helper for the night.  Somehow I managed to get all my lines sewn though.  The back fabric is much flatter with hardly any puckering now.  I am very glad that I took the time and effort to redo it.  I think the edging will be much easier to sew now.  Not to mention that the quilt will look much nicer too!  Here are some close up images of the fabrics used.

Lastly, I trimmed all the edges so they are ready for the edging.  I am hoping to complete it by our next book club date, which is November 29th.  Wish me luck!


Thursday, November 15, 2012

Quilted Holiday Saying Banners

Wine of the Day: Nothing.  Donated blood.

I've had another holiday decoration idea! 

Quilted Holiday Saying Banners

This one comes from Basket Full of Cherries on Etsy.  The burlap is a great natural material.  I think this would look lovely hanging from a mantle with maybe some pine cones and garland to add to the rustic, natural feel. I also like that it is red and green without being "christmas red and green".

This is another great example using the burlap natural look.  This one is from Thrown Together on Etsy.  It looks like this one has the letters painted on too.  This could be a fun project to do with friends that are not big into sewing or quilting.  I have a few friends in mind!

This is a great idea too!  Paper Junkies on Etsy made this out of paper.  I could easily do this out of felt I think though. Make each letter just like these ornaments and then just string them all together. 

Happy Holidays y'all!


Monday, November 12, 2012

Welcome Brutus

Wine of the Day: Potomac Point - La Belle Vie

We have added a new member to the family.  His name is Brutus.  He is a 9 week old gray tabby.  Very sweet and always purring.  Lucy has warmed up to him quickly but Bria and Kahlua are still getting used to him.  I know his sisters will love him as much as we do soon :)

Happy Veteran's Day

Wine of the Day: Hard Cider

Thank you to all the Veterans out there!  We appreciate all that you do for this country. 

Tuesday, November 6, 2012


Wine of the Day: The Winery at Olney - Cabernet Sauvignon

I'm sure I'm not the only one out there with this problem, at least I hope not.  So, I have started to do the quilting part for the baby blanket.  I am using this:

I used this on my first quilt and it worked great.  I don't know why it isn't working as great for this one.  Maybe the batting wasn't as flat to begin with...  I have no idea.

Anyways, I am now in the process of taking out half of what I have done b/c the backing fabric has bunched up.   I have already redone a few rows.  Now I have noticed that if I were to try to sew on the edging there would be places that I would have to fold over the fabric.  Back to the drawing board. 

Plan B is to leave in half of what I have already done, redo the other half and then reevaluate the first half.  I still like the idea of this spray so I am going to combine this with pinning and see if I can get the back flattened out as desired. Also, maybe iron all of it together before pinning??  Any ideas are welcome!

Let's hope I don't need a Plan C!


Thursday, November 1, 2012


Wine of the Day: Yellow Tail - Cabernet Sauvignon/Merlot blend

happy halloween
love, Kahlua

Monday, October 29, 2012

Baby Blanket

Wine of the Day: Vendage - Sauvignon Blanc

I have finished piecing the baby blanket! 

This quilt is for my friends Kristy and Wes who are about to have their first baby.  They don't know I am making it so I am really excited to get it finished and give it to them before their little girl comes.  The nursery is two tone orange and Kristy wants to incorporate some teal accents.  Wes also informed me that they have a jungle theme, Kristy doesn't care for pink but does like purple.  All of this was taken into account when selecting fabrics.

I had the orange on the far left and the purple at home already.  The rest are fat quarters I found at  Joann's.  I was thrilled to find the jungle theme fabric and the colors are perfect.  

The original idea was a simple horizontal stripe quilt.  I did some research on sizing though and found that my fat quarters weren't quite wide enough for that.  The ideal baby quilt size is apparently 32" x 52".  This will allow for the sides and the bottom to be tucked under a crib mattress without covering the baby's face.   So, the new idea was a vertical striped quilt that was more pieced than just my original simple idea.  For this I decided I could just make up the pattern.  I went with 1.5", 3" or 4.5" wide by 6" or 9" tall.  There was a lot of math involved, probably more than necessary but I finally figured out how many pieces to use.  I laid it out on the floor and played with the location of the colors until I finally settled on this:

The right side is actually going to be the top.  This was decided so that all of the animals were facing up.  Then I sewed each strip.  This went very quickly and I actually finished it up Thursday night before Brian came home.  Lucy helped...

With all of my strips sewed and laid out in order, Saturday morning I set out to finish it.  The whole thing went smoothly and quickly and before I knew it I was sewing my final piece.  I hadn't decided yet if there would be a border or not so I pulled out the white on white zebra print I had left over from my first quilt.  No competition, this NEEDED to be added.  Not only did it brighten up all the colors but the zebra pattern was a perfect fit for the theme.  I went with a 3" border to keep the portions the same as the other strips.  It is just about the right size at about 32" x 56" And here it is:

All pieced together and ready for the next step.  With Hurricane Sandy pounding down on us, I will not get to the store for a while but I have already decided that I want the back to be the large orange and white pattern.  I am thinking that the edge might be white too, or purple.  That hasn't been decided yet.  For now, I will be inside riding out the storm...


Friday, October 26, 2012


Wine of the Day: nothing yet :(

Today, I came across this:

What a cute idea!  Thank you Say Yes to Hoboken!  This has inspired many ideas for Christmas ornaments for gifts and for me.  Being a mom to three cats means constant Christmas tree climbing.  I bought a fake tree the same year the girls came into my life but that has not stopped them.  Luckily only one ornament has been sacrificed so far but after that I have vowed to stick with what I consider "cat safe" ornaments.  This basically includes plush or plastic, non breakable, non shatterable ornaments.  These will be perfect! 

More ideas: 

This comes from Memi the Rainbow.

And then this:
which comes from Feeling Stitchy.

 Thank you fellow bloggers for such cute ideas!  Can't wait to get sewing :)


The Beginning of the Patriotic Quilt

Wine of the Day: Vendage - Sauvignon Blanc

My quilting essentials: fabric, sewing machine, wine, a cat.
Before I had even finished my first quilt I knew I wanted to create a red, white, and blue one.  When Brian and I were at his church auction I saw one that was really well made and I just loved the patriotic theme.  With Brian being in the Air Force too, I thought it would be nice to have in the house.  I bought a pattern of all stripes at Capital Quilts.

Radio Way by Jaybird Quilts

 I think this was a perfect choice.  This one is going to be a full size quilt.  I figured I didn't need another throw just yet and we have a full size spare room bed so it seemed logical.  The pattern includes the exact number of pieces needed for a few different sizes so it can be reused in the future I hope too.  Twelve different colored fabrics are being used, all of which are either red and white or blue and white. 

Lucy was making sure my piles stayed organized.

 Then I used white fabric to border the smaller squares like shown in the pattern pictures.

Kahlua's turn to supervise.
Cat toys
They got caught sleeping on the job.  Clearly, Bria couldn't care less.

So, this is where I am now.  Lots of squares, ready to be ironed and then sewn together.  

The tricky part will be getting all the corners of the squares to align.  Maybe I should work from the middle out?  I'm sure a few options will be explored and I can't wait to get back to work on it. 

But, it is on hold at the moment so I can make a very exciting baby blanket.  In the mean time, looks like I should do some research for this one...


Thursday, October 25, 2012