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Archive for the tag “Elizabeth Hartman”

kitty-cat catch-up


Back in December, I was doing well keeping pace with Elizabeth Hartman’s Cat Quilt-Along–until my college kids came home. Their company and accompanying holiday fun derailed my block-a-day plans–that’s ok.

I’m back at it. Here are Victor, Boogie, Amelia, Max, Violet and Maslow (x 2). Only three more to go!

cats in mass production


I continue to work on Elizabeth Hartman’s cat quilt-along.


I did some fussy-cutting on this cat. Once I had him pieced . . .

clockwork orange

I realized he resembles a feline version of Alex in Clockwork Orange!

soft kitty, warm kitty . . .


So far I’m keeping pace with Oh Fransson’s Cat Quilt-Along.


The Day 3 cat, Sunny, with its one-sided eye patch, reminded me of my first cat, Black Patch. I swapped the position of the patch to match Black Patch’s and I fussy-cut the kitty fabric for her chin.

black patch linda's cat 8.1973

Do you see the resemblance? (Don’t you just dig the circa 1973 bedroom, with the shag carpet and creepy oversized stuffed panda?! I think I took this picture with the instamatic camera I received for my 11th birthday.) We adopted Black Patch when she showed up on the back patio of our first house in Ho-Ho-Kus NJ. She moved with us to Connecticut and then to Massachusetts. From here she wandered off, and despite the many prayers made by my 12-year-old self to St. Jude (patron saint of lost causes), she never returned–my first experience of the heartbreaking loss of a pet.


For today’s cat, Mia, I had fun fussy-cutting fabric again. Can you see the suggestion of eyes and whiskers? I admire her rakish charm–she looks like she’s wearing a gypsy scarf on her head.

here, kitty, kitty . . .


Although I tried mightily to resist and I have plenty on my Christmas gift-wanna-make plate, I succumbed to the call of Elizabeth Hartman’s Cat-Quilt-Along (or Cat Vent). Every day in December until Christmas, she will be posting a pattern for a different cat. In the end, all the cat faces will go together to make a 30″ x 35″ mini-quilt.

After a brain cramp last night regarding basic assembly (I should know better than to try to sew after 10 pm!), I have found the blocks easy to make–in fact, I’ve decided to make two of each. It’s fun reaching into scrap bins and pulling out old bits to make these feline faces. Despite the usual frenetic pace of Christmas preparations, I plan to take a little time every day to devote to this project–the daily hour in the sewing room will be my gift to me.


I thought I’d make the first cat, Ferdinand, in honor of one of our cats, Hobbes.


Do you see the resemblance?


Today’s cat, Bernadette, reminds me of Grumpy Kitty–look at that unibrow!

wonky star pillow


I first saw interlocking wonky stars on Elizabeth Hartman’s Oh Fransson blog–I fell in love. Her Sparkle Punch quilt is on my very long to-make-someday list. More recently, I spied a take on this design in pillow form–inspiration. This project looked manageable for me and a perfect anniversary gift for my sister- and brother-in-law. My brother-in-law is an avid amateur astronomer, so a pillow covered in stars seems fitting.

I followed the instructions in this tutorial to make the wonky star pieces, leaving out the corners and using 2-1/2″ squares from my scrap jar. I made all the stars and nestled them together like puzzle pieces–it was fun playing with the layout.


Like the inspiration pillow, I quilted it with a cross-hatch pattern, which was easy to eyeball on these finished 2″ squares. For the first time, I added binding around the edges of a pillow–an extra step, so it was more work, but I do like the look.


For the back, I used fabric from my stash that suggests constellations, starry nights, suns and stars. I quilted it with a free-motion wonky box pattern, which mimics the design on the fabric. As is my wont with pillows these days, I used this technique for constructing the pillow back. I now make the top piece a little shorter than the bottom so that the contrasting strip is more centered. In this case, I made the top panel 2 inches shorter than the bottom one.

Happy anniversary, T & P!

Details: finished size–20″ x 20″

the story of a wedding gift


Encoded in this gift are the bride and groom’s shared professional field, what each wore on their wedding day, where they were wed, and even the day they were wed.

Here’s the story.

A little over a week ago, we were invited to our friends’ house for a solstice party. It was June 21, the longest day of the year, a lovely, sunny Friday. We arrived to learn that actually we were attending a wedding reception: Jason and Amy had been married at their home a few hours earlier–what a wonderful surprise and a delightful party! I knew the jars of pickles and salsa we had brought, though appreciated, would not do as a wedding gift. The next day, as I recalled Amy’s wedding dress, I remembered a spare quilt block in my stash with the same coral color. It was a leftover from a still-unfinished quilt top I made using a pattern (called Neighborhood) in Elizabeth Hartman’s book, Modern Patchwork. Here was my inspiration.


For borders, I used fabric from Carolyn Friedlander’s Architextures collection, which gives a nod to the bride and groom’s professions (he’s an architect; she’s an interior designer).


For the back, I found a blue and coral stripe that reminded me of the tie Jason wore.


And to hide the zipper, I used a strip of white on white with various-sized dots. It made me think of the sun and the planets–a subtle reference to their solstice wedding day.

Congratulations and best wishes, Amy & Jason!

cathedral windows demystified


A friend who is a violinist with the St. Louis Symphony is celebrating a significant birthday today, so I thought I’d finish a little project for her as a gift.

I pieced this mini-quilt a few years ago following a Sew Mama Sew tutorial by Elizabeth Hartman of Oh Fransson fame. It sounds weird, but you fuse the squares to lightweight fusible interfacing and then fold and sew the rows. For the beginner quilter (me!), it was very satisfying to have the seams of these bitty 2-inch squares match perfectly. At the time, I made several, and over the years I have reached up to my works-in-progress (WIP) shelf and quilted one every so often as a birthday gift for a friend. This process has allowed me to experiment with different quilting designs in a small (14-inch square) venue. “Mistakes” are hard to detect–it helps that I used no solid fabrics. I gained practice and confidence, and the gift recipients were none the wiser (I think!).


Here are a couple of others I did. The one with the yellow border I quilted with an all-over free-motion curly-que–very brave of me. For the orange-bordered one, I used an Elizabeth Hartman-esque free-motion wonky-box pattern (it’s in her book)–even braver.


This time around, I had fun with a new technique for me: cathedral windows/orange peel quilting. I have admired it but thought it was beyond my abilities. Then I read a blog entry by Katy of I’m a Ginger Monkey in which she confesses to being a reluctant quilter (I can certainly relate) and then explains how to do this orange peel quilting with a walking foot–cool! I had to try it out, and it worked like a charm. I am pleased to have another quilting technique in my repertoire.


It looks great with the backing I chose.


For the borders I used my other favorite walking-foot quilting design (explained here by Faith of Fresh Lemons Quilts). It created a little puzzle-piece pattern in the corners.


I added a hanging sleeve so it can either be hung on a wall or used as a decorative piece on a table.

Happy Birthday, Wendy!

pincushion organizer

I made two of these weighted pincushion organizers last year: one for myself and another for my friend Sarah. My sister-in-law, Terrye, recently bought a new sewing machine, so I thought this organizer would be a good little gift for her.

I used this tutorial from Sew Mama Sew by Elizabeth Hartman, and I had no problem following along. You will want to use lightweight interfacing. I made the mistake of using heavier stuff when I assembled the first one, and it made the top rim of the bag too thick and top-heavy.

The organizer sits nicely on the edge of my sewing table or on the arm of the sofa, which is handy when I am working in front of the TV. The organizer panel has the perfect-sized slots to hold snips and a seam ripper, an unfortunate necessity for me. The detachable bag is helping to curb my bad habit of flinging stray threads to the floor, where they tangle up my vacuum cleaner.

I thought this fabric by Timeless Treasures with its twist on sewing expressions was fun and appropriate.

I have found “Keep calm” to be a good mantra while seam ripping.

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