Isabella's Whimsy

handmade with love

Baby Showers and Afterglow!

As a soon-to-be new grandma I have to admit I’ve been totally delighted to be involved in two sweet and very different baby showers for my daughter and grandson.  Here is a pic representing the two showers:

Golden Books and Garden Parties

Golden Books and Garden Parties

The first shower was given by my daughter’s sisters-in-law, a Pokey Little Puppy (and Golden Books) Party.  It was a lovely party with family and close family friends.  We played some games in Spanish and after BBQ we enjoyed a gorgeous dessert table, primarily provided by the wife of my daughter’s brother-in-law. Then while we delighted in the yummy goodies, my daughter opened her beautiful and bountiful gifts.

Mommy-to-Be wore the large corsage, and each guest wore a small Pokey Little Puppy corsage.

Mommy-to-Be wore the large corsage, and each guest wore a small Pokey Little Puppy corsage.

Pokey Puppy Refreshments Pokey Puppy gift table Pokey Puppy Gift table 2 Pokey Puppy desserts Pokey Puppy cake pops

The second shower was given by her own sister and friends, a Tea Garden Party.  We met at an historic home turned museum/restaurant/garden room. The flowers were just amazing, the food was scrumptious, and the guests were so much fun.  This party included friends from many different places, so was special to have everyone all together.  We played Bingo and a paper-pencil game, Who Knows the Most About Mommy?  I am proud to say that I won the Knows Mommy game, even though I missed the question that asked for her full name!! I only wrote first and middle and never even thought to include maiden and married names!!! I also had to do the math to know her age.  And I missed her favorite color.  Goodness!

 

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DSCF4091 DSCF4092 cropped flowers DSCF4090

Then on Sunday afternoon we had an Afterglow gathering. Grandpa and Grandma from Daddy’s side came over to see all the gifts.  Here they are, along with Daddy, showing their favorites:

DSCF4119 DSCF4118 DSCF4117 DSCF4116 DSCF4115My own personal afterglow was when I took some of the flowers and put them on my nightstand and in my bathroom (by “my” I mean “the guest”).

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Thanks for sharing the joy!

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30/30 Challenge … the Absolute Final

Hasn’t this been a lovely month?  The 30/30 Challenge has been good!

In week 1 I didn’t really sew, but did prep for a Penny Sampler Quilt block:

Week 1, fabrics ironed for Hanging Diamonds Border Block

Week 1, fabrics ironed for Hanging Diamonds Border Block

Week 2 completed 5 Penny Sampler blocks:

Dala Horse and Sunflower blocks for Penny Sampler

Dala Horse and Sunflower blocks for Penny Sampler

Week 3 was the busiest for sewing – the Project QUILTING Triangles Challenge with a quilt and 2 Penny Sampler blocks:

PQ 5,6 Triangles 1

Week 4 found me making baby gifts for my little expected one:

Quickly made flannel receiving blanket

Quickly made flannel receiving blanket

And then this short “week”…

I called last week the Final because I didn’t think I could sew anything else, but where there’s a sewing machine…there is sewing!

I’m still out-of-town at my daughter’s for another day.  She and her husband went through all there bounty of shower gifts and found they had quite a few receiving blankets and no burb cloths.  We selected a smaller-size set and I found this quick tutorial called 10 Minute Burp Cloth Tutorial from The Ribbon Retreat Blog and set to work. I have 5 done and 5 more cut out.  The directions are for the ragged look, so I made three of those, then thought my girl would prefer the more traditional look, so I made two with hidden seams.  She does prefer the traditional ones, but still likes the ragged ones also.  So the last five I cut out a bit bigger, with a bit more seam allowance.  They kind of are coming out in various sizes, but they are just going to be burped on, so that’s OK.

5 Done, 3 ragged and 2 traditional

5 Done, 3 ragged and 2 traditional

5 To Go, traditional, but who knows what size!

5 To Go, traditional, but who knows what size!

I’m so glad I was able to sew right up to the end of the challenge.

Anyone going to offer another practical challenge soon?  Just let me know!

Thank you very much, Sarah!

Can’t wait to go see how everyone else is finishing up! Click here to see more.

 

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30/30 Challenge, Final Week

Berry Barn Designs

The challenges I set for myself for this week, weren’t really for myself, but I was very happy making them!

I did not complete or even attempt any Penny Sampler Quilt blocks this week.  This has been a week focusing on becoming a 1st time grandma, aka, Grammie, for a little boy.  My daughter is having an out-of-town baby shower on Saturday, March 29.  My plan was to complete the quilting on the baby’s quilt for the shower,

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but when I heard she had indications of possible preeclampsia, I changed my plans and headed south.  So instead of having the quilt for the baby shower, I quick-like-a-bunny hemmed a piece of flannel for a receiving blanket, and followed adapted a tutorial for a travel diaper changing pad.

The receiving blanket:

Quickly made flannel receiving blanket

Quickly made flannel receiving blanket

I adapted the changing pad by eliminating batting and using just outside fabric and a plush towel.  Very washable!  Of course, I never do anything the easy way if I can make it complicated.  The fabric I chose for the outside was about 5 inches too short, but that didn’t stop me.  When I was pressing the folds out I saw that the “permanent” center fold looked a little dingy, so I slashed that part out and added a strip of solid red cotton.  Then to make up for the length I added a solid navy strip.  Of course all these colorful strips, all 2 of them, made the outside piece … yes, too long. I really liked the colorful strips, so I just cut off some more of the original outside fabric.  Goodness, see what I mean about making things complicated.

Travel Diaper Changing Pad, all folded up

Travel Diaper Changing Pad, all folded up

 

Travel Diaper Changing Pad inside made of plush towel and a 6" pocket for a couple of diapers and wipes.

Travel Diaper Changing Pad inside made of plush towel and a 6″ pocket for a couple of diapers and wipes.

 

Travel Diaper Changing Pad, outside

Travel Diaper Changing Pad, outside

Here is the tutorial for the changing pad, so maybe you would  like to make one or a few, too.

 

I brought along some fabric for a Boppy cover for mommy-to-be’s approval and received a big smile, so maybe I’ll get that made while I’m here, but I doubt it!

Fabric for Boppy cover met with new mom's approval.

Fabric for Boppy cover met with new mom’s approval.

Things are looking good for my daughter, I’m so thankful.

So, even though the sewing I did was not exactly for me…I sure was happy doing it, dreaming all the while of the little guy who is due in just 7 more weeks.

Thank you for taking time to read this post.  Please also visit the other participants starting Saturday, March 29, 2014 to see what they have been making.  I would like to thank Sarah at Berry Barn Designs for this fun and supportive challenge, it has been helpful to me and I have enjoyed meeting the other participants.

~Janie, Isabella’s Whimsy

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30/30 Challenge, End Week 3

Berry Barn Designs

Week 3 has ended and I only have 2 sessions of 30 minute sewing for myself to tell about. Actually each session was more than 30 minutes if you count selecting fabric, reviewing instructions, prepping the template, and cutting – OK, let’s count all that, too! :0)

I have two more blocks for the Penny Sampler Quilt completed, the Long Churn Dash and the Mitten blocks.

Long Churn Dash and Mitten Blocks for Penny Sampler Quilt

Long Churn Dash and Mitten Blocks for Penny Sampler Quilt

I just love these sweet blocks. I have loved the churn dash since I first saw it and plan to make a small churn dash quilt…someday…ahhhh….
I used the red and white check for the background and the white for the churn to represent the Danish flag on this Scandinavian-inspired quilt.  You can see a nice pic of the Dannebrog/ Danish flag on Flickr.

I have had a love for Denmark since I was 11 years old and the most handsome young Dane moved to my town and was in my 6th grade class…ahhhhh….. (again). Then as a teenager I had some penpals from Denmark for several years, one of whom I was able to visit for a few days while I was doing study-abroad in college (1973). She took me to visit the original LEGOLAND, a rune stone, and to the North Sea to suntan in 60 degree Fahrenheit weather with a wind blowing in off the sea, brrrrrr!  Happy Days!

The fabrics in the appliqued mitten are a whimsical floral and bright teal tonal print; both fabrics are used in other blocks also.

But just so you don’t think I was lazing around all week, let me show you the 42″ X 50″ quilt I made for the final Season 5 Project QUILTING challenge; made start to finish in 4 days (counting time needed to rip out and redo, several times!).

PQ 5,6 Triangles 2

Here’s looking ahead to Week 4!

~Janie, Isabella’s Whimsy

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Triangles for Gwyneth – Project Quilting Season 5, Final Challenge

Project QUILTING

This is the final challenge for Project QUILTING for Season 5 (2014).  I would be sad, but I already know that there will be monthly off-season challenges until Season 6 begins – WooHoo!

This week the challenge was Triangles (click to see the challenge) .  Since challenging our creativity as well as our quilting skills is the object of the game, we are free to use Triangles in any way we want in our project.  I decided to…for the first time…make a child’s quilt within the challenge timeframe of this week.  I have several promised children’s quilts on my To Do List, so I got 2-with-1-whack: the challenge completed on time and one item checked off my list!

I had recently seen some triangle quilts and really wanted to make one, so I saved this tutorial by Kersten at Frozen Knickers, Refreshing. Needless to say, I was VERY happy to see that the PQ Challenge not only could be used to make a quilt I wanted to make, but also to make this quilt for a special little girl in my life, Gwyneth. I adapted the tutorial from a doll quilt to a child’s quilt, but made sure to limit the amount of cutting and sewing by using 8 and 1/2″ triangles.  I did a lot of guessing on how many triangles across and down, but I’m happy with the (roughly) 42″ X 50″ size.

PQ 5,6 Triangles 2

As with all the other challenges, this was a learning experience.  For instance, did you know that if you cut carefully and sew 1/4″ seams accurately, you will have less work to do than if you just sort of cut and sew. Ripping out can be 1) extra work, or 2) an appreciated break to watch a show.

Another thing I learned by observation is, it takes more thread to sew a row in upside down at the wrong spot and then fix it than it would to sew everything in the right order the first time.  It takes even more thread (and work, or more time to watch a show) when you sew the row in wrong two or even three times.  Just thought you would like to know.

For materials I used cotton prints and solids in pinks and purples, some from Gwyneth’s great-grandmother’s stash, most from my sister’s stash, and some from my own stash.  The backing is a pink background with multicolor butterflies.  The batting is a nice fluffy poly batting. Oh! I learned something there too.  When I first laid out the batting it had clumps and lumps from where it was folded in the package.  I went online and searched for “bunched up batting” but the posts were about bunching during quilting, not right out of the package.  Finally one lady suggested getting the bat damp and putting it in the dryer for a few minutes.  I put it in for 8 minutes with a damp hand towel.  While it was drying, I picked up the package and read right there, “For best results, fluff in dryer (on low heat) for 5-10 minutes before using.” So, the moral of the story is, reading the package can save you a lot of time and messing around.

I quilted a 1/4″ from each seam around each triangle and down the sides of the quilt where I added a 2″ border.  I made a scrappy binding from leftovers.

PQ 5,6 Triangles 3 butterflies back

Even with all the redo’s the quilt, named for the girl, is done.

I present Gwyneth!

PQ 5,6 Triangles 4

Thank you for taking time to read my blog.  Here is the link where you can see all the PQ projects for this week, then starting on Saturday you can vote for your favorites on this same link.

~ Janie, at Isabella’s Whimsy

p.s. Completed in my home in College Station, Texas.

pps. Flickr

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30/30 Challenge, March 14, End of Week 2 (aka End of 14 days…or maybe 13)

Berry Barn Designs

I have to say, this has been a robust week for me in the 30/30 Challenge!

First, I took Sarah’s encouragement and got out my rotary cutter to prep the Hanging Diamonds block, and I completed it. I’m happy with how it turned out, never mind the bit of trimming it still needs.

Hanging Diamonds border block for Penny Sampler Quilt

Hanging Diamonds border block for Penny Sampler Quilt

I finished up the two “almost finished blocks”: Dala horse got his sketch stitched reins and Sunflower got her two appliqued and sketch stitched leaves.

Dala Horse and Sunflower blocks for Penny Sampler

Dala Horse and Sunflower blocks for Penny Sampler

I took a little time out from the Penny Sampler to finish a 10″ wall hanging for myself. I call it Citrus and have hung it in my kitchen. Last week for the Project QUILTING challenge I made a set of 3 Broken Herringbone wall hangings for my little sister and decided to try the block without the sashing between the strips. This week I sized, sandwiched, quilted, bound, tagged and hung it just for me.

"Citrus" a 10 inch wall hanging with the Broken Herringbone block, minus the sashing between strips.

“Citrus” a 10 inch wall hanging with the Broken Herringbone block, minus the sashing between strips.

Fast Finish Triangles and kitchen skewer for hanging.  Quilt tag made from scraps.

Fast Finish Triangles and kitchen skewer for hanging. Quilt tag made from scraps.

If you would like to see some Project QUILTING projects on Flickr, click here.

Then back to the Penny Sampler with 1, 2, 3, well 4, new blocks all made and set aside with their siblings.
I made the 2 Heart blocks.

Heart Blocks for the Penny Sampler

Heart Blocks for the Penny Sampler

And I made a modification to two block, the Whirl and a plain fabric 6.5″ square block. I decided I wanted the Whirl to turn into a Windmill (the Penny Sampler is a Scandinavian inspired quilt design, and I have seen a few windmills in Denmark). I messed around and around and around with it (was I whirling?) because I tried to combine parts of blocks and since I’m not all that great with applying fundamentals of measurement and cutting to my inspirations, it took a lot of try this, rip-it-out, try that, rip-that-out, until finally I got close to what I had imagined. I added some sketch stitching hoping it would connect the blades to the base of the windmill, but I’m not sure it worked. We’ll see.

The Windmill Block is a set of 2 blocks, the Whirl block and a (not so) plain 6.5" square.

The Windmill Block is a set of 2 blocks, the Whirl block and a (not so) plain 6.5″ square.

If you would like to see some completed Penny Sampler Quilts on Flickr, click here.  This is my Favorites on Flickr; you’ll have to scroll down bit, but you might enjoy seeing all the pretties.

That’s all for this week; high hopes for next week!

~ Janie at Isabella’s Whimsy

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30/30 Challenge, March 8, 2014, End of Week 1

Well. Well. Well….

OK, I’m not sure we can even say I’m off to a ____ start.  Good, rough, fast, slow, none of these words seems adequate.

Here is what I did this week toward my goal of working 30 minutes per day on my Penny Sampler Quilt.

  • I took a picture of the blocks I have finished at the beginning of the challenge, including the Dala Horse and Sunflower that are almost finished.
Penny Sampler blocks completed and almost completed at the beginning of the 30/30 Challenge

Penny Sampler blocks completed and almost completed at the beginning of the 30/30 Challenge

  • I printed out the directions for the Hanging Diamonds block.  I also read them, and reread them about a dozen times…had a little trouble focusing.
  • I pressed all the fabrics I need for this (approx.) 12″ X 52″ border  block and carefully hung them on a hanger on the closet door knob.
Week 1, fabrics ironed for Hanging Diamonds Border Block

Week 1, fabrics ironed for Hanging Diamonds Border Block

  • I thought about it a lot! and that made me happy.

I’m sure next week will be better, more productive.

~ Janie @ Isabella’s Whimsy

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Citrus, Berries, and Lettuces: Project Quilting Challenge 5, the Grocery Store

Project QUILTING Season 5

Project QUILTING, Season 5, Challenge 5–Grocery Store

Sundays at noon, March 2-9, 2014

  • For your inspiration the week, make a trip to the grocery store. It can be a mega-supermarket or a little corner store or even a convenience store. Anyplace where you could buy groceries.
  • Choose at least 3 things for inspiration. You can decide how inclusive a “thing” is. For example, a thing could be the produce department, or an apple.
  • Be sure to tell us about your inspirations and how they influenced your quilt.
  • Your project does not need to be a traditional quilt, but must meet at least one of these requirements:
    • Include patchwork.
    • Include appliqué.
    • Have 3 layers stitched together by hand or machine.
  • Your project must have a name.
  • Please remember that these projects need to be started and FINISHED during the week of the challenge.

It didn’t take long for me to decide what my project would be for this challenge: a set of 3 Broken Herringbone Quilt Block wall-hangings for my little sister’s new home.  I’d been wanting to make the Broken Herringbone block because it just looks so fun and fresh, so I used this tutorial from Play Crafts.

From the grocery store I chose these three inspirations, one for each block: Citrus, Berries, and Lettuces.

Citrus, Berries, and Lettuces

Citrus, Berries, and Lettuces

I really enjoyed making these blocks and even tried one without the sashing to see how it would look.  I like it. Don’t know how I will finish it; maybe square it up, or maybe add a border to make it placemat size.

Citrus without Sashing

Citrus without Sashing

On the backs I added Fast Finish Triangles for easy hanging and used bamboo skewers for the “rod”.  These can then hang from push pins, no fuss, no muss. I used some of the scraps to make the Fast Finish Triangles. I learned how to make them from a tutorial on The Alzheimer’s Art Quilt Initiative web page here.

Fast Finish Triangles and Skewers for hanging

Fast Finish Triangles and Skewers for hanging

Now for a close up of each block…you may notice the stitching isn’t perfect, but then, neither am I.  I accidentally attached the binding to the back and brought it to the front for finishing.  I used machine stitching for the binding and learned that the best foot to use is one that is for straight stitching and one with a wide opening for zigzag.  When I used the straight stitching foot it was easier to control the alignment of the stitches and to avoid bunching and stalling, so my advice is to always use the straight stitching foot for finishing binding.

Citrus: oranges and tangerines, limes, lemons and grapefruit, and pink grapefruit

Citrus: oranges and tangerines, limes, lemons and grapefruit, and pink grapefruit

Berries: blueberries, blackberries, strawberries, raspberries, cranberries, and a few cherries and grapes

Berries: blueberries, blackberries, strawberries, raspberries, cranberries, and a few cherries and grapes

Lettuces: romaine, Boston, endive, iceberg, spinach, and more!

Lettuces: romaine, Boston, endive, iceberg, spinach, and more!

You can learn more about Project QUILTING on Facebook.

I hope you have a blessed day!

~Isabella

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30/30 for March – a new sewing challenge

Sarah at Berry Barn Designs is hosting the 30/30 Sewing Challenge.  For the month of March the challenge is to sew 30 minutes each day, but sew for ourselves.  It’s all to easy to put off sewing for myself when I have all these other fun sewing projects for other people, but then I don’t get my own stuff done, so I’m going to join up with this challenge and see if I can make great progress on my Penny Sampler quilt top that I started last September with Stitched In Color .

Here are a couple of pics of completed blocks…

Penny Sampler Diamonds

Penny Sampler Diamonds

Paper pieces Teapot and Tea Cups

Paper pieces Teapot and Tea Cups

4 Penny Patch blocks

4 Penny Patch blocks

In addition to this project, I am committed to 2 Project QUILTING challenges this month and preparing my clothes for two baby showers and a wedding shower.

You can join up with Project QUILTING too, if you want to get in on the last challenges (challenge 5 ends at noon CST on Sunday, March 9, 2014).

So here’s to 30/30 Sewing Challenge!

Berry Barn Designs

Project QUILTING Season 5
~Isabella

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