Thursday, February 20, 2014

Catnap Dress Contest

So apparently the only time I blog anymore is for cat related events (see also Gaudy Kitty Quilt and Rainbow Kitty Party).  Well, I'm back with another amazing kitty related sewing project.  Hellooooo Catnap Dresses!

The lovely fabric designer Lizzy House recently came out with an amazing fabric line called Catnap - prints devoted entirely to cats, drawn up in her beautiful Lizzy House style.  I love her decision to hold a dress contest to go along with this fabric line, because exactly what this world needs is more cat dresses!

I teamed up with my dear friend Jenna to hold a cat tea party to celebrate our lovely dresses.  You can read all about her grown up cat dress over here.

As you can tell from the death stare that my dear kitty Odin is giving me, he was super excited to be included in this tea party.

I had sewn up the Edelweiss Dress once before (funnily enough the first one had kitties on it too!), and knew that it would be perfect to show off this great fabric. 

Now sit back and enjoy some photos!

And by far, my favorite shot from the whole party.  Just keepin it real folks.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Want to learn to sew? I've got you covered!


One of the questions that I get asked again and again (and again!) from friends and blog readers alike is, "What is a good book for a beginning sewist?"  Well, I have finally found my favorite!


The sweet Katie Lewis, who blogs over at the red kitchen, has just published a fantastic book for anyone just starting out on their sewing adventure (Christmas wish alert!).  The beginning section covers all the basics you'll need to know from fabric and supplies, to stitches, and techniques.  I think I might even lend it to my husband for a bit, because I don't know how many times I've been sought out because he "just doesn't know how to sew on a button".  Yep, covers that too!


Katie takes you step by step through 30 projects that are just perfect for a beginner, but are versatile enough for a more advanced sewist to have fun with.  And for me, the thing that makes this book stand out above all the other "learn-to-sew" books is that each step and each direction for every project is accompanied by a photo.  She really ensures that anyone can become a confident sewist!  

So many of these projects are super kid-friendly, and combined with the step-by-step photos, this is really a great first sewing book for a child as well as an adult.  I know I'm going to be handing it over to Phoebe soon as she expresses more and more interest in using the machine herself.


Okay, so let's get to the projects!  I got straight to work on making a set of adorable bean bags.  I must of had a moment of crazy, because all of a sudden I found myself cutting into my precious japanese fairytale prints that I have been hoarding for years.  But they turned out super cute, and they are way more fun to play with and enjoy than just sitting on the shelf in my sewing room.


Phoebe claimed them immediately and has been playing toss, stacking them up, and carrying them around ever since.


Who wants an early Christmas present?!  Katie is playing Santa Claus and giving away a copy to one lucky reader!

a Rafflecopter giveaway
And if you'd like to buy a copy for every one of your friends, Katie's book can be found here - 
Barnes & Noble
Books & Things

Thanks for the giveaway dear Katie, and congrats on the great book!

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Gaudy Kitty Quilt

Oh, gaudy kitty quilt.  I love you so so much.  I am 99.9% sure that this is my favorite quilt that I've ever made, beating this quilt by only 1/10 of a percentage.


Background - We moved Phoebe into a twin size at the beginning of summer;  hence, she needed a new big girl quilt for her big girl bed.


If you learned anything about Phoebe from her Rainbow Kitty Party, you know that this girl has a *bit* of an obsession with kitty cats.  So I decided to take all of my kitty fabric - including the super gaudy novelty prints that had been in my stash for forever - and combine them all in a quilt that any 4 year old, cat-lovin girl would go nuts over.  In turn, the Gaudy Kitty Quilt was born.


It took me quite awhile to figure out what kind of layout would be best for this crazy quilt.  I didn't want to cut the fabric pieces too small since a lot of these novelty prints have a larger scale.  Plus, I got into quilting because of all the amazing textile design, and I like to really showcase the prints in my quilts.


My good friend Rossie is the one who recommended this layout of equilateral triangles with the prints laid out in rows.  I had just finished working on this poor quilt that was never blogged about, which was also made up entirely of triangles, and the last thing that I wanted to look at was MORE TRIANGLES, but I knew that it would be the way to go.


This was my original fabric pull.  I have some other great cat prints in the stash, but once I started putting the majority of the fabrics together, the quilt's own color palette started developing, so I decided to remove the blues and most of the other darker toned prints.  Yes it was being made with novelty cat fabric - but I wanted to at least try and make the final product pretty!


I didn't have enough kitty fabric to complete the entire top, so I started mixing in other things Phoebe likes - butterflies, bugs, birds, bunnies (apparently anything that starts with B), and some blender floral prints that I thought made the color scheme a bit more interesting.  I'm proud of myself for even cutting into some of my preciously hoarded japanese fairytale prints.


After getting the top pieced, I made the decision to send out the quilt top to a professional long-armer to be quilted.  I've always quilted my own quilts on my machine at home - even some much larger than this, but my friend Brenda put the idea into my head to have a design of cats quilted all over the top - which was pretty much the best idea I'd ever heard in my life.

Luckily I know Kathy though our Modern Quilt Guild who owns Thread Bear Quilting.  Not only is she an amazing quilter, but she was able to quilt this design all over the gaudy kitty quilt.

I wish I would have remembered to get a detail picture of the quilting itself, but take my word that it's amazing.  If you look closely in the third picture in this post, you can make out the quilting the clearest. 


And that brings us to the end of this quilty journey.  Phoebe loves, and I mean LOVES her quilt, which makes this momma so darn happy.  But even if she didn't, that would still be okay - because then I'd get to keep it for myself!


**This quilt is part of the Blogger's Quilt Festival.  Click here to be inspired by hundreds of beautiful quilts!