Lucky Lisa

August 20, 2007 at 2:15 pm | Posted in charity, Doll Quilt Swap, Memes, Quilting, Sewing/Crafts, swaps, Thrifty Goodness | 35 Comments

I’ve been a lucky, lucky Lisa for a good month now, as the mail carrier has brought a steady stream of loveliness to me from all over the country.

It really started about 4 weeks ago, with a package with an Alaska return address. Textile artist Linda concocted this fantasy “wild thing” quilt for me for the Doll Quilt Swap. It’s stuffed hand applique, with machine quilting, and it’s incredibly detailed.

DQS2 received

It’s based on a fawn stuffie she’s made, and it’s frolicking in a stand of towering sea oats. Linda’s hand-dyed fabric are exactly the colors I asked for to match my office’s red, green, and black color scheme.

DQS2 received machine quilting detail DQS2 received detail

Her piercing “people eyes” took some getting used to, but she’s settling in nicely now. Thank you again, Linda!

Next, Marisa from California sent a handmade pouch in her signature taupes. It’s a quilted pyramid pouch, pictured here on her beautiful blog. I just love that shape! She’s included a sweet appliqued tag with her knockout calligraphy. Thanking you, thanking me, Marisa! I have enjoyed our exchanges and your generosity in sharing your quilting expertise. I just last night finally figured out the taupe-y treat I’m sending to you: a pear! Inspired by your post about Kwoozy.

This week I received an envelope full of my favorite old childhood friends from Lynn, a.k.a. eggmoney. She sent them as a “thank you” for co-hosting the Doll Quilt Swap. Well, it was an honor to have her among our number. Her quilts are real knockouts! She also has an etsy shop full of lovely items. How did she pick these out? They’re perfect for me! Thank you, Lynn!


eggmoney cards 5

Georgie Porgie (waaaannnnnhhhhhh!)

eggmoney cards 2

Go, Dog, Go! This would make a great congratulations or good luck card.

eggmoney cards 1

Marvin K. Mooney (hmph!)

eggmoney cards 4

and my favorite friend, George

eggmoney cards 3

I dragged Ryan to the theater see the Curious George movie when it came out a year or two ago. We were “unchaperoned” by any kiddies: just a couple of thirty-somethings loving the familiar episodes, as well as the Jack Johnson soundtrack.

Finally, my streak of luck apparently reaches beyond my mailbox. I’ve found some super things at the thrift store lately.

quilt cubes 3

quilt cubes 1 quilt cubes 2
These are 1″ wooden blocks that you can use to make designs. I know I’m supposed to be a grown-up, but it’s been fun to play around with these. They have 4 solid colors and 2 sides with half-square triangles. They’ll undoubtedly come in handy for Kim’s Doll Quilt Challenge. One of the upcoming months will feature the Fresh Traditions quilt, which uses a lot of HSTs!

crewel teddy

Look at this little cute bear. He was a dollar. The overalls!

And I had the find of a lifetime: a Gocco printer for $2.50: rhymes with “thrifty.” I spotted the box from across the store and my heart skipped a beat. You know that feeling if you frequent thrift stores. Then you stroll nonchalantly toward your prize and snatch it off the shelf and hug it to your chest, hardly believing your luck. Or is that just me?

I’ve already tried it out on our Christmas cards. We didn’t send any out last year, we were that late. So maybe if I start in August, we’ll be able to get them out in time in 2007!

christmas card design 07

This design is a tribute to the artist Charley Harper. I’ve only recently found out about him, through Design*Sponge. He sadly passed away in June, but he leaves quite a large body of work. His paintings are everything I love about art: they’re humorous, stylized, graphic, and very very colorful.


One in ten auction in progress

August 19, 2007 at 9:32 pm | Posted in charity, Quilting | 2 Comments

I’ve finally written a post about the lovely things I’ve received in the mail lately, but I have to wait until tomorrow to take a few photos before I post it!

In the meantime, I’d like to call your attention to an auction taking place to help a fellow craft blogger’s mother who’s survived a stroke earlier in the summer. 

The one in ten auction was so named because there was only a 10% chance for her to survive. The items being auctioned are all handmade and donated by their makers to defray her mounting bills, as many of the medical expenses are not covered by her insurance.

I was honored to make and contribute the Blueberry Pi-R-Squared doll quilt. It’s up up for bid now, along with many beautiful and unique handcrafted works. A complete list of the items appears here.

Blueberry Πr2 Blueberry Πr2 back

Peachy Keen/Jelly Beans

August 17, 2007 at 5:43 pm | Posted in Doll Quilt Swap, Quilting, Sewing/Crafts, swaps | 3 Comments

Look what I found in my drafts: an old post that’ll be a month old tomorrow! Sheesh.

I finished my Peachy Keen quilt for DQSII last week. Whew! What a relief…for a minute or two. THEN I remembered that I’d committed to making a “fairy” quilt for another swapper whose partner had to drop out.

jelly beans complete jelly beans back

I finished binding the Jelly Beans fairy quilt this afternoon,  washed and dried it, and then hotfooted it to the P.O. minutes before they closed. Last-minute Lisa strikes again.

I forgot to put the walking foot on my machine for a few rows of quilting both horizontally and vertically. Gah. Didn’t have time to rip it out; I never would have made the post office on time.

All of the fabric came out of my stash. And yes, it’s the Plain Spoken quilt again from the Modern Quilt Workshop. I love that design. It almost makes itself. This is my 3rd or fourth time making it, although I halved the finished block sizes, making this piece 19″ x 21″.

Today was the deadline for sending quilts, so much of the work is done for the other Swap Mamas and me. A few swappers here and there need a little extra time, but all that’s really left to do is sit back and watch the little packages show up on blogs and of course on the Doll Quilt Swap photo pool on flickr. We’ll track to make sure that everyone gets something. Then it’s on to planning Doll Quilt Swap III! Maybe the other Mamas and I can get together on IM to toss some ideas around for the next round.

Now that my swap projects are done, I finally get a chance to play with a few quilt tutorials shared by some very clever ladies.

Liz posted this technique on Whiplash for their miniature quilt contest. It’s since been adopted by Kim and the gang for the July Doll Quilt Challenge. I want to try it in brights on a black background.

Sarah G.’s swap quilt employed some cool and wonky Log Cabin blocks. Here’s a link to her tutorial on flickr so you can try it yourself. I have to warn you: it’s very addictive. I’ve tried it out on a several blocks, with varying degree of success. It has motivated me to tidy up my scrap basket, though. Now I don’t have to paw my way through piles of scraps to find the right size or color anymore. I’ve made a few and multiplied them in a graphics program to see how a quilt might look:

wonky courthouse steps mosaic 2

And look at Amy’s swap quilt! Isn’t it cool? I stared at it for a while wondering how she made the blocks. Luckily, she posted the technique tonight. I’ve made up a block, and people, it is fun! And fast, too!

Block from Ibby Bee tutorial

Blueberry Πr2 & boating

July 24, 2007 at 11:43 pm | Posted in charity, Quilting, Sewing/Crafts | 13 Comments

Eireann‘s mother survived a recent aneurysm and stroke. That’s the good news. The bad news is that her medical insurance will not cover her care and rehabilitation due to a pre-existing condition.

Crafters the world ’round are donating handmade goods to help defray the family’s mounting expenses. The items will be auctioned on eBay beginning August 19th. Eireann’s named the auction one in ten, after the odds that a patient will survive medical conditions like her mom’s.

After reading about the auction on Tania‘s blog last Friday, I volunteered to contribute a quilt. Then I found out that photos of the contributions were due this Wednesday. Oops. I sewed up a storm this weekend and completed the quilt with a day to spare. Totally unlike me! But here it is, the 4-day quilt:

Blueberry Πr2 detail

It’s the same design as the Strawberry-Rhubarb Πr2 quilt I made for Maitreya in the first round of the Doll Quilt Swap.

Blueberry Πr2

Lapis blue is Eireann’s mom’s favorite color. I was fortunate enough to have all the fabric I needed on hand. The blue-on-white print on the back? Blueberries. It was meant to be.

I matched the heck out of that plaid binding. Can you see the 5 joints? No? Good :o)

Blueberry Πr2 back

For those of you who caught that I called it a 4-day quilt when there were actually 5 days between Friday and today, here’s the reason: we’ve had quite a run of perfect summer weather here in Chicagoland, so Ryan and I joined our friends on a little fishing outing in a local forest preserve over the weekend. Our friends rented a rowboat.


We prefer a canoe. I didn’t even get a fishing license. I enjoy just paddling around instead. Much less messy. Here’s a photo I took of him with all of his gear. Can you tell he loooooves to fish? I think he might have as much fishing equipment as I do sewing/quilting gear.

Ryan in the back of the canoe

What a great day. An even better day for the fish, since we failed to catch any at all.

A day late and a dollar short

July 13, 2007 at 6:45 pm | Posted in Doll Quilt Swap, Quilting, Sewing/Crafts, swaps | 25 Comments

Yesterday, fellow Doll Quilt Swapper Kathy and I had an all-afternoon-and-evening push to complete our quilts for DQSII. I’m happy to report that, one day past the sending deadline for the early wave of swappers, I’ve finished hand-quilting and binding Peachy Keen. It’s on its way to a far, far away country and a lady I hope likes it very much.

Peachy Keen

As I mentioned before, the design for the quilt came from Denyse Schmidt’sWhat a Bunch of Squares.”

I named it “Peachy Keen because it reminded me of these:

Its final dimensions were 19-1/2″ wide X 23-3/4″ long.

peachy keen detail

I found hand-quilting it to be quite enjoyable. I love the way hand sewing really demands that you slow down and focus on the project – the stitch, even – at hand. I felt successful with even two good (okay, passable) stitches in a row and immersed myself in the process, rather than rushing through every seam. “Done” is a delight, but “doing” was just as much so with this!

peachy keen back

I have a few blocks that didn’t make it into the quilt. I want to include them in Denyse Schmidt Sampler. And hand-quilt it, of course.

Now, WHOSE bright idea was it

July 10, 2007 at 10:45 am | Posted in Doll Quilt Swap, Quilting, Sewing/Crafts, swaps, WIP | 14 Comments

to have some of the swappers send some of their doll quilts early? And to set the Draconian deadline of the twelfth?!?!

…oh, wait…that was me. Sigh.

It seemed like such a good idea to have some people send quilts early. And then it seemed like a good idea for me to be one of the early people to set a good example, since I suggested it. And to challenge myself, just as I had recommended in the DQSII guidelines. So I decided to try hand quilting.

Oh, help! I mean, I don’t think any more tips or instructions will help because I took a lesson at the local quilt shop and got some really great advice from other, much better quilters. I just hope I can get it all done by Thursday.

Here’s part of it:

Doll quilt hand quilting WIP

(It’s not sitting flat in the photo.) I hope my partner isn’t some sort of hand-quilting connoisseur! My stitching is 1) humungous, 2) crooked, and 3) uneven. But it’s not from lack of trying!

I guess if there’s a bright side, it’s that the Denyse Schmidt-style quilt that I’m working on is intentionally wonky-looking, so The Perfect Stitching wouldn’t be appropriate for this piece, anyway, right? Right?!

Thank goodness!!

[edit: I’ve had a change of heart and decided to embrace my wacky quilting stitches. See the next post!]

She’s a peach!

July 5, 2007 at 11:26 am | Posted in Doll Quilt Swap, Quilting, Sewing/Crafts, WIP | 9 Comments

Oh, hi, are you still there? We’ve been busy cramming our summer into the last couple of weeks, it seems, with an RV trip to OH with some of the family and 2 festivals and concerts, and a baseball game tonight. Whew! I’d like to say that it’ll be quieter now and I’ll be able to blog more frequently, but you know how summer activities stack up!

Peachy Keen quilt for DQSII

On the Doll Quilt Swap II front, here’s my quilt in progress, named “Peachy Keen.” The pieced top is now marked and ready for hand quilting. I don’t know how ready *I* am for hand-quilting, but I’ll give it the old college try.

Of course, it took me 5 years to finish college :oD I figure since I graduated from high school a year early, it all evened out.

The photo on the right is the back of the quilt with the “label” info on the long light-colored strip. I’ll let you know how the quilting turns out. I’ve been practicing, and have gotten great advice from Amy and Marisa. I’ll be channeling them both as I go.

Happy discovery:

June 15, 2007 at 11:03 am | Posted in Doll Quilt Swap, Quilting, Sewing/Crafts | 15 Comments

…a flannel-backed table pad for your dining room table makes a perfect “design wall” for a doll quilt.

happy discovery

 This is my work in progress for my Denyse-Schmidt-loving Doll Quilt Swap II partner. A group of us received our partner info early so that we could send quilts out early, too. I’ll border these blocks with white and they’ll finish up to about 4-3/4″.

All Doll Quilts, All the time

June 11, 2007 at 1:48 pm | Posted in Doll Quilt Swap, Quilting, Sewing/Crafts, swaps | 11 Comments

I just posted an announcement over at the Doll Quilt Swap blog that we are ending the registrations early. At 100 swappers! I hate for anyone to be disappointed at missing the signups, but I had noooo idea that the swap would become so popular. I’d hate more if the swap experience was lessened or compromised by us not being able to keep up with questions and stay on top of the swappers’ progress, so it had to be done. Boo! Please help spread the word on change if you happened to post about the deadline on your blog.

In much, much happier news, I received my swap quilt from Michelle last week.


Isn’t it pretty? It was showcased on Whipup for their May miniature quilt challenge, and rightly so. All the stitching: the piecing as well as the quilting, was done by Michelle’s own two talented hands.

 The binding is stitched and mitered so beautifully, it’s ridiculous, and I mean it in the nicest possible way.

dqsi received miter

It took a while for me to recognize that the rows progressed in rainbow order. I was just so agog at all the fabrics and handwork. The quilt includes batiks and calicos, a mix of new and vintage cottons. This is one of my favorite sections.

dqsi received greens blues

I’m humbled and grateful at having received such a work of art. What a treasure. Thank you, Michelle.

Doll Quilt Swap II signups start TOMORROW 6/3

June 2, 2007 at 8:48 pm | Posted in Doll Quilt Swap, Quilting, Sewing/Crafts, swaps | 2 Comments

Thank you for your patience! And thanks to those who commented on what you’d like to see in the next swap.

Go to the Doll Quilt Swap site tomorrow for the swap guidelines and instructions for signing up.

Woo, hoo!! I can’t wait!

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