April's Twelve in Fourteen

I love a challenge, especially a year-long, get stuff done, with deadlines challenge. As of today, thanks to Marti at 52 Quilts, I have 2 finished quilts this month, for a total of 3 quilts and 1 bag for the first quarter of 2014. Yay!!

I finished the top for Mary's quilt - my goal for the month - on the 6th (here). And now it's been lonq-arm quilted - with butterflies! - 
binding attached, 
washed, dried and ready to go to its new home. 
I suppose I could count that as a 2nd UFO for the month, especially since I thought it would be next month's project.
Leanne helped me take the finished pictures. 
Isn't she cute? 
And silly? Mary picked the backing fabric for her quilt and it is every bit as colorful as it appears in the photo. Made it very interesting to pick a binding color.

I also finished another UFO quilt top, this one for ME (blogged here)
 I love these bright colors.
I made a pieced backing, my first ever "fancy" back. 
The mermaid fabric doesn't quite match the front fabric, so this is the perfect way to use both.
click for bigger

This one's at the long-arm quilter now. Once I get it back, I'll only need to attach the border, wash it, dry it and throw it on the couch. Just in time for So. California's first heat wave of the season. Timing is everything.


Beading With Leanne

A friend and I were shopping the clearance aisle at Aaron Brothers when I spotted a kid-friendly beading kit for $1.98. I thought Leanne, my little puzzle loving princess, might get a kick out of it, so home with me it came. 
I really thought this would be 15 minutes of fun, then she'd be done and on to something else. 
She was still happy and focused over 45 minutes later.
Once I saw her concentration, and how hard she was working to get string through bead, I switched her over to a darning needle.
Talk about thrilled! Getting to use grandma's "big girl needle" and the ease of putting beads to string made her even more attentive.
After a couple of hours, we put this away for the day, but the next afternoon Leanne asked to do more beading - and actually finished her necklace. 
I love how hard she worked on this - her concentration was so fun to watch. I'm thinking Grandma may have a crafting buddy in a few more years.

P.S. I asked Leia if she wanted to do some beading and this is the look I got.
Much more interested in hanging out with Pop and eating her sandwich. 


Fancy Back

Remember the UFO I finished earlier this month? The seahorse quilt?
I figured the backing for that would be next month's UFO project but . . . .  I got the sewing bug yesterday, so I sat down and got it done.
I had a few blocks left over from the quilt top and a mermaid print that almost matched the front fabric color-wise. I fussy cut two mermaid blocks, added in the leftover orange pieces and voila - my first ever "fancy" back. 
 click picture to see larger 

Now this one's all ready for a visit with my long-arm quilting buddy - the second UFO to make that trip this month. Whoohoo! Loving the Twelve in Fourteen inspiration. 


Easter Decorations

Decorating for Easter is a pretty low key here, especially when the little girls are celebrating elsewhere.
I painted these guys in the 80's or early 90's. Whatever happened to tole painting? I used to have so much fun working on these with Vickie and our friends.
These three are new this year -
a friend knit them for me - one to represent each of the little girls -
and even stuffed them with Cadbury num-nums.
And since they can't be stored with the chocolate still inside, Leia and Leanne are going to looooove helping grandma put away the Easter decorations this year.


Pre-Easter Easter

Leanne came for a visit today and since we won't see her tomorrow, Pop and I organized a quick egg hunt just for her. I grabbed one of my sewing baskets, while Pop loaded the plastic eggs with candy and hid them around the yard. Leanne was happy to go outside, and happy to take the basket, but I don't think she really understood what was going on at first. We nudged her toward the first egg, and as soon as it broke apart in her hand, spilling out the Reese's Peanut Butter candy, her eyes lit up and it was Game.On.
We had only 10 eggs to hide, but Leanne would happily have hunted for 100. I'm going to miss having egg hunts on Easter day, but watching Leanne today was a bonus and soooo much fun. Hope all y'all have a happy, fun-filled Easter!


Down and Dirty, Fast and Flirty

Playing a bit of catch-up. I'm behind on posting FO's, so here's a mishmash of projects:

A dress for Leanne.
This is my best one yet, with a double row of top-stitching on the shirt, plus I used my new rolled-hem foot to make an almost perfect edging. Need a bit more practice there. 
Leanne loves it, especially when I pointed out the Hello Kitty fabric.
We made up a story - the kitties are trying to swim across the water (the blue fabric band) so they can play with Nemo and his friends. I started to say "snack on" Nemo but "play" seemed better for a 3-year-old.

A hat for Mary. 
Saw this in a magazine but didn't pay much attention until a customer came into the shop looking for help with the pattern. 
The construction is neat. A fast project and lots of fun. If it fits, and if Mary likes it, I can see making a lot more of these. Details on my Ravelry page here.   

I'm not sewing up the last seam, nor weaving in my tails, until I'm sure this fits. Sizing info in the pattern was pretty, shall we say, unhelpful open to interpretation.
Samples for a class.
I'm teaching Hearts, Hearts, Hearts! at Eweniversity next week. My idea is that these could take the place of flowers as a decorative element on hats, jeans, etc. Fast, fun and done.


They Like Them!

All the bunnies are in their new homes - 

Addy is keeping the name "Philomena".
Leanne calls hers "Huggy Bunny";
and Leia says her new friend is "Flower" and "her last name is Easter Bunny". Wonder if that's with a hyphen or without . . .


Easter Huggy Bunnies

Meet the Bunnies -
from the left: Pauline, Philomena and George. I'm sure the little girls will change the names, but for now, that's what the bunnies told me they want to be called.
 Blue/green mix for Addison

This was an easy project. The free pattern - Huggy Bunny from Stitch11  - was great and I followed it almost exactly. The only real difference was I stuffed the arms and legs lightly rather than leaving them unstuffed.
Pink  for Leia

If I make these again, I'd use buttons for the eyes and noses. Attaching the safety pieces to this extra bulky yarn* was a royal pain - and I'm still not sure they will stay put. The buttons on Leanne's look just as cute, were easier to install, and I know they'll stay where they belong.
Yellow for Leanne

Addy's new baby goes in the mail tomorrow. I can't decide if I should give Leia and Leanne theirs on Easter or before. It may come down to whether or not Grandma can keep a secret that long . . . 

*More details on my Ravelry page here. Yarn is Bernat Baby Blanket that I found on sale online for $2.50 per skein. Love a good sale! 


Another UFO No More

My second completed UFO for the month. Whoo!
Finished size: 52 x 72"

I bought the fabric at Roxanne's over a year ago (here) and finished the quilt top the same week. All I needed were the borders.
And it sat . . . and sat . . . and sat . . . .
Until this week when I finally got the remaining pieces cut, sewn, ironed and admired.
I loved this fabric from first sight and - unusual for me - knew exactly how I wanted the finished quilt to look. And it does.
What's changed are my plans for the back. In my mind, I see a narrow panel with alternating orange and fish prints (like the blocks on the front, but smaller) and a center strip featuring a fussy cut mermaid from another fabric I bought at Roxanne's, placed off-center across the backing fabric. Kind of excited to see if I can make this work.