Archive for the 'Crafting' Category

Building Blocks

My boys’ piano teacher is due in a few weeks.  This is their first baby.  Her husband loves Legos – so much so that they have a room in their house dedicated to his toys.  BUT the baby is coming and the little one needs a nursery so the Lego room is being converted the baby’s room.  Time to box those blocks up, Mister!

We love Legos over here as well.  I sometimes wonder if my boys will grow up and continue to love building things with overpriced plastic blocks.  I hope their wives will be as understanding as Mrs. Elizabeth is with her husband.

So what do you give a baby girl whose parents love Legos?  A Lego quilt, of course!  Legos are perfect for designing quilt blocks. Below is my quilt designed out of Duplo blocks.


  And the Duplo Quilt:

Duplo Quilt Please tell me that it looks like Duplo blocks!!!

I backed it with an Ikea sheet from a few years ago.

Duplo / Lego Quilt

I hope she likes it.  The shower is just a few days away!

Economy Block Quilt

Remember back in the good ‘ole days of blogging when we just went shopping and took a picture of our pile of new fabric and called it a post?  There’s is nothing keeping me from posting like that these days except myself.  I feel like the bar is set higher – like I have to produce something really nice before I can post.  If that item is a quilt, then well, it takes many many hours of sewing to produce a project.  And while sewing is fun, it isn’t the same kind of fun as say, shopping for fabric.

economy 1

This quilt took me over 20 hours to make.  I know this because I’ve been trying to improve my Mandarin and I watched 21 episodes of a Taiwan soap opera pieceing and sewing these blocks together.  It was filled with dramatic moments which included love, brain injury, amnesia, recollection of said love after many years.  Not normally my cup of tea, but if you want to watch free Taiwan soaps, you take what is available on the internets.  So my soap opera wrapped up and I still hadn’t started the quilting!  All this for a small baby quilt which I can’t sell because no one will pay over $200 for a baby quilt.  But I digress.

economy 3
This was fun sewing.  Fun because almost all fabrics came from the scrap bag.  I did panic a little when I thought the blocks might clash with each other, and I think they do, but the busy clashing seems to work together okay.  I put my least favorite blocks along the outside.


- Super cute quilt block.
- Those fabrics that have stand-alone images?  They are perfect for the center square of this block.
- All fabric for the quilt front can come from your scrap basket
- Tutorial is well done and easy to follow.  Find it here.


- Time – each 5-inch block has 9 pieces.  After working several hours I had enough blocks to make a small pillow.  The above quilt is 40″x40″.  I would have made it larger, but at the point the decision needed to be made, 17 more blocks felt like too many.
-Using anything thicker than quilting fabric can create problems during the quilting process.  The points where all the seams come together get very thick.

Check out the Flickr group for ideas.  There are some super cute quilts over there!

Happy President’s Day!

Mount Rushmore2Original Mount Rushmore image credit: bbadgett via Wikipedia.  Remixed under Creative Common’s Attribution – Share Alike 3.0.

I am Sensei Wu.  Happy President’s Day to my American friends!  Today I went to Mount Rushmore.  The presidents are quite handsome, are they not?


Dish Towels

Over Christmas break I went on a cinnamon bread making spree.  Baked and baked, trying to master the recipe again.  It had been a really long time since I’d made it.  The neighbors and several friends got a loaf of bread wrapped in a flour sack towel.  A strip of patchwork sewn across one end made it a little special…

dish towels


SO special that a couple of people ate the bread and tried to return the dish towel.  All patchwork was from the scrap basket which always feels good.  And cinnamon raisin bread french toast tastes good.  And finally, a few weeks after recovering from big family meals and rich traditional dishes, I’m feeling good, too!  A little late, I know, but Happy New Year!

Quilted Checkerboard

Last minute Christmas gift:  pieced and quilted Checkerboard for our friends’ kids.


I sewed a little zipper pocket into the back so that they could keep all their pieces with the board.

Checkerboard - back pocket
First saw this super cute idea over at IHeartLinen, but didn’t actually use her tutorial.

And in case you didn’t know, there’s a sale in the shop!sale

Spray Painted Acorns

sprayed acorn

There is an oak tree in the park by our house that drops the largest acorns.  We collected some this fall and turned them into ornaments.  I sprayed the hats with glitter paint and the balls with a gold satin.  After a couple of weeks of letting the fumes dissipate in the garage, they were easily turned into ornaments for the tree.
Spray-painted Acorn Christmas Tree Ornament

I personally prefer the ones with bigger hats.

Finding twins are a rare treat.

acorn twinsI know, I know, Christmas trees are pine trees and acorns are from oak trees.  Haha!  Does it have to make sense?  I hope not, especially since our tree is actually fake – made out of plastic.  Yep, plastic + acorn = pretty. :)

Merry Christmas, everyone!  Hope you have a wonderful time with friends and family!

Doggie Bed

I love my little dog, Peanut.  He follows me everywhere:  sleeps next to me when I’m migraining, sits under the desk when we are doing school, goes for walks with me, and always finds a soft pile of fabric scraps or batting to settle onto when I’m sewing.  He loves batting – scratching at it until it shreds, then curling up on it for a nap.  It was time for him to have a special place in the sewing room just for him.  A well-deserved doggie bed – he’s earned it.

Doggie Bed

Being a small dog that looks like he has eye lashes, Peanut often gets mistaken for a girl.  But he’s all boy – no girly bed for this guy.  Fabrics are all a year or two old, I think:  Parson Gray (Curious Nature) and A Stitch In Color by United Notions.  I quilted some pieced strips and sewed it around a gusseted people pillow.  Then. I. waited.  It took 3 days for him to figure out that he could sleep on it before I was able to get some pictures.  It’s been cold here so Peanut was wearing his sweater.

Doggie Bed

I did some fake piping along the edges.  It helped the cushion cover to keep its shape.  For a dog that came to us without any knowledge of basic commands (sit, stay, etc), it is really hard to get a picture of him.  The minute I get down close to the ground, he tries to climb in my lap.  For that reason alone, I’m really happy with the shot below.  He stayed.  I mean he really stayed in one spot long enough for me to take the shot.

Doggie Bed


He takes his new doggie bed seriously.  Very seriously.

Shopping Cart Liner

Yesterday was a whirlwind trip to Houston and back for Fall Quilt Market 2013.  I had to have a shopping cart and this cart needed a liner so I made one.


I wouldn’t recommend going without something to help carry all those samples, catalogs and flyers.  I wasn’t the only one with a cart on wheels which resulted in quite a few traffic jams.  I’m sure it drove some people crazy.   The only thing I wish I had thought of was to put a pocket in the liner for some business cards.

shopping basket liner

Love this fabric.  Top is screen-printed birds on canvas that I picked up in a little studio in Taipei.  Bottom is Daisy Chain by Kokka with a little ribbon trim in between.

‘Til next year, Houston!


K is for Baby Ksena.  Isn’t that a pretty name?

K cushion

Daisy Applique Cushion (with pattern pieces)

I am so thankful for technology that makes crafting easier.  When I started putting together the daisy applique for my cushion, I started off by arranging different triangles in Publisher:  skinny, fat, long, short all in different combinations and numbers.
I finally settled on the last combo (bottom right):  9 of each: fat/long  in the back and fat/short in the front.

Instructions below are for the applique on the front of a 16″ x 16″ square cushion.  You can finish off the cushion using whatever method you prefer.  These are instructions for the front panel applique only.

You will need:

Double-Layer Daisy Applique Pattern Pieces (PDF):

1    18″ square piece of fabric for background

1     19″ square piece of batting

Fusible webbing (I prefer Heat ‘n Bond LITEDo not use Heat ‘n Bond ULTRAHOLD as it can not be sewed through)

Fabric for long triangles

Fabric for short triangles

Scrap of fabric for center circle

Instructions start now.

1) Print pattern pieces.  Open file from above and select print on the bottom right of the screen.  In the print box, UNselect “fit to page”.  Or download file from above and open.  Select print and set print to “actual size” or “Custom size: 100%”.  Printing on card stock will make everything so much easier.  I prefer sturdier shapes that don’t bend and break when I’m tracing them.

2) Cut out pattern pieces.

3) Trace pattern pieces onto fusible webbing.
          Trace 9 long triangle pieces onto paper side of fusible webbing.  Cut around the outside of the fusible webbing as shown.
Trace 9 short triangle pieces onto paper side of fusible webbing as above.
Trace 1 daisy center circle onto paper side of fusible webbing.  Cut around outside, leaving a small border.

4) Fuse webbing onto WRONG side of respective fabrics using the manufacturer’s instructions.  DO NOT remove paper backing from fusible webbing.

5) Cut out shapes, using your traced lines.  After cutting out shapes, remove paper backing.

6)  Make center mark.  Find center of 18″ pattern piece by folding fabric in half twice and mark lightly with pencil.  Arrange long triangles evenly around center.  Fuse to background fabric with iron.

daisy applique 1

7) Arrange short triangles around center mark.  Fuse with iron.
daisy applique 2

8) Stitch around outsides of short triangles 1/8″ from the edge.  Sewing across the center is okay since the stitches will be covered later.       daisy applique 3

9)  Stitch around the exposed edges of the long triangle pieces as shown.Stitches

10) Add Daisy Center.  Fuse Daisy Center over center of daisy.

11) Center fabric piece over batting and pin in place.  Stitch around outside of daisy circle, 1/8″ from the edge, through the batting.

12) Quilt .  Use free-motion quilting to secure background fabric to batting.

13) Trim down batting and background to 17″ square, making sure daisy is centered.
Daisy Cushion Front Panel

There you have it, the front of your double-layer daisy cushion.

Here is a shot of the back.  The bonus is that I like the back just as much as the front.

daisy cushion back

Additional thoughts:

* Depending on the type of batting used, you may not feel comfortable leaving the back of the panel with batting exposed.  I use Warm & Natural cotton batting and don’t worry about it falling apart inside the cushion.  If you are using a less sturdy batting, then you may want to add backing fabric to the panel before quilting.

*Any questions?  I’ll add the answers here.

Craft Apple

An apple a day keeps the doctor away, right? Well, crafting is my apple. It's what I do to maintain my sanity while taking care of my family. I homeschool my three boys, ages 10, 11, and 12), am a quilter, a bagaholic, and a pattern designer.
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