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.


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

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!]

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!

And they’re off!

May 6, 2007 at 2:59 am | Posted in Doll Quilt Swap, Quilting, swaps | 8 Comments

I know I said this post was going to be about craft books, but there’s been so much activity in Doll Quilt Swapland, I feel I must give an update:

  • Susan M. received one of the pretty patchworks from Maritza, who’s holding a giveaway on her site for one of the other doll quilts she pieced!
  • Sarah D. received her package Marisa. I’d posted a sneak peek, but the whole quilt (even the tag!) is gorgeous.
    Doh! I just realized I forgot to add the tag to mine before sending it
  • Lynn received a beautiful quilt from Beth. Wonderful colors, and its design reminds me of the quilts of Gee’s Bend. Beth, in turn received the pretty repro quilt from Bonnie.
  • Sarah G.was the lucky recipient of Kim’s collage quilt, and she’s posted some beautiful photos of both in her flickr photostream.

If you’re playing the “following the updates closely to try to suss out who your sender is” game, maybe one of THESE is your quilt:

  • Susan S.‘ appliqued and hand-quilted beauty. And I’m sorry, but that dung beetle with his ball of poop at the top of her post is hilarious.
  • This charming log cabin from Liz. Those colors are so nice, aren’t they? I always love a log cabin.
  • Take a look at the lovely floral fabric Sarah L. included in her quilt.
  • Monica’s bright and pretty repro quilt.

I’ve heard from almost everyone that they have sent or will shortly be sending their quilts, so I’m very pleased with that! We all know how our schedules and sewing machines can sometimes conspire against us around deadline time :o) And don’t forget, US swappers, some of the packages are traveling from the UK or Australia, so don’t fret if you are still waiting on yours.

Next post: craft books, I swear. AND a 100th post giveaway! Yay! *blows party horn*

Yes, sir – yes, sir, one box full!

April 29, 2007 at 11:34 am | Posted in swaps, Thrifty Goodness | 10 Comments

sweaters for sonya

This is an overdue box of cashmere and wool sweaters that I’m sending west to the lovely knitsonya* for a personal swap. I’ve been blest to find so many wonderful sweaters for very good prices at the thrift store, and the poor dear has lots of competition for such gems in San Francisco. She’s has such a talent for working with wool; I can’t wait to see what she does with them!

And I know it’s better to give than to receive, but what I received…! Sonya sent the most thoughtful and generous package. Each item was chosen with care and I love it all!

Too much fabric! Floral and pink fabric from Sonya Dotty fabric Owl fabric

The fabric’s working its way through the wash so that I can start using it right away.

sonyaswap vintage buttons Red vintage buttons fruit buttons

I’ve admired her vintage buttons, and now some of them are MY vintage buttons :o). Amazing aren’t they?

She also sent candy, which didn’t last long enough for the photo shoot (Mr. Lisa K. LOVES candy), and some pretty pink thread and cotton batting. I’m aaaalllllll set for crafting this spring, between this great swap and some quilt shop gift certificates and books my wonderful friends gave me for my birthday.

Thank you, Sonya! Your package will be en route tomorrow!

Next post: new crafty books!

*News flash: Sonya’s j u s t opened an etsy shop. Check there soon for some of her sure-to-be-wonderful creations.

Strawberry Rhubarb Πr2

April 28, 2007 at 12:30 pm | Posted in Doll Quilt Swap, Quilting, Sewing/Crafts, swaps | 17 Comments

completed doll quilt

That’s what I’ve named this quilt, which I just completed for our little Doll Quilt Swap. The colors reminded me of the fillings in my husband’s favorite pie.

grid quilting

I’ve quilted grids between the circles that look a little like a lattice crust. And of course the formula for the area of a circle is πr2. Guess I’ve been teaching too many math classes at the ol’ children’s museum :o)

The design is based on the Mod quilt in Weeks Ringle and Bill Kerr’s book The Quilter’s Color Workshop. They’re the fine folks at Funquilts who also authored the popular book The Modern Quilt Workshop. I thought a lot about color when choosing the fabric for this quilt. The middle section of the quilt is supposed to look as though a translucent white square lies lays sits atop the “original” darker colors, seen along the edge.


I love, love, love the binding. It’s a couple of taupes and a salmony-rosy color woven together.

This is my first time making a doll quilt. I was really amazed at how much more quickly and easily it seemed each step was completed, compared to making a larger quilt. It also took so little fabric and very little space to work on it (marking, layering, pinning).


That being said, I did hit a couple of speed bumps. Since both of the circle fabrics had directional prints, I had to be super careful when cutting and piecing them. And I challenged myself to try out curved piecing, thinking it would be easier on a small project. It was hard for me! I drafted the templates for the circles, which was a little tricky, but they worked out. The curved quilting gave me fits, too. Luckily the majority of the quilting is straight-line grid and channel quilting, which is easy-peasy with a walking (even-feed) foot.

I’m a little sad to pack it up, but I guess I have to: the deadline to send quilts for the swap is Monday! Hint, hint, Swap Dolls!!

Doll Quilt Progress

April 25, 2007 at 8:18 pm | Posted in Doll Quilt Swap, Quilting, Sewing/Crafts, swaps, WIP | 6 Comments

First of all, apologies to poor Francie, whose name I’ve somehow neglected to add to the Doll Quilt Swap page until today. So sorry!

Next, the Doll Quilt Swap flickr group is up and running. If you are a flickr member, you’re invited to post photos of your in-progress projects and packages sent or received. Check out the photos already posted for some inspiration :o) If you’re not a flickr member, e-mail me photos if you’d like me to add your pictures to the pool.

And the swappers march ever onward toward the Monday, April 30th deadline:

  • Susan used a foundation to construct this charmer. Love the eyelet!
  • Kim‘s freewheeling storybook-themed quilt is a real show-stopper
  • Maggi posted a sneak peek at her quilt. Cool looking quilting, Maggi.
  • Bonnie completed her first-ever quilt. GREAT colors!
  • Laura‘s completed her cute & colorful repro-print quilt.

Finally, my quilt is progressing! I’ve finished machine quilting it. Don’t be fooled: almost all of the quilting is plain ol’ straight lines, facilitated by a walking foot. I just need to bind it, wash/dry, and add the tag. Unfortunately, our washer-dryer was pronounced DOA by the nice Sears repair man yesterday, so I’ll have to wait until tomorrow afternoon to launder it…

quilted doll quilt

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