Angry Birds for Birthday! An off… but on… topic post!

Grandma Diane and Great Aunty Linda visits Hawaii for Zack’s 8th Birthday!  What a whirlwind of fun! Grandma always makes an original and creative cake for the kid’s birthday and this year was no different.  Following a previous themed post (, Grandma decided to create an Angry Bird masterpiece!

She ordered the birds online with her new iPad (yes, she is that hip). Next step, did you know that sling slots don’t seem to exist in Hawaii?  We searched, called, and foraged to no avail…and bought a bamboo rice paddle to transform into a sling.   Brian, my lovely husband carved, dremeled and sanded it into a lovely art piece.

In standard form, Grandma super glued her thumb to the Angry Bird sling…you know, the rubber band portion that completes DIY sling?  She decided to use a knife to separate the two… eeek!

We transported the cake carefully with over an hour commute to the amazing Ho’omaluhia Botanical Garden ( in Hawaii for Zack’s Fishing Birthday Party!  And wouldn’t you guess it, it poured with sheets of rain for two hours straight and EVERYTHING but the cake got drenched!  I will spare you with the dripping wet pics!  Zack said it was an awesome party and he LOVED fishing and stomping in the mud!  Of course!!!  A great time was had by all!

The sewing cave transforms! DIY organization at its best!

Ok, I don’t know about you, but I LLLOOOOOVVVVVEEE fabric and I have now joined a 12 step program of fellow fabricholics!  I tell my friends that “friends don’t let friends” go the fabric store alone..

I hit bottom when family confirmed their plans to stay with us in October for my son’s birthday… they mentioned that they also want to actually sleep in a bed… details, details, I thought.  After really thinking it through, I realized I needed to transform my sewing cave into a habitable space-ugh.  The only thing that could actually survive in that room “as is,” would be fabric and notions, since they seemed to be fine “arm in arm” in disorganization.

Then one day, Ella mentioned that she now wants a big girl bed since Zack got a big boy bed in the prior months (see prior saga… really?  Like I need another room to organization like a need a hole in the head, I thought…  A light bulb went on (yes, it is a rare and beautiful thing…) and voila, company bed solution solved!  I sourced an amazing girly set complete on Craigslist with a bed, mattress, desk and a chest of drawers… a truly lovely set.  Then I broke down Ella’s princess castle and used the core bed as a daybed for the sewing cave!

Back to the DIY organization!  I searched YouTube for tips and learned a lot about “containing the beastly notions and threads.”  Then a trip to Costco for shelves.  And again, voila!  A beautiful new room to meander through and guess what… there is even room for more fabric!  I rock!  Woohoo!



Quick coasters for home, birthdays or change it up for Christmas!

One night after a long day of work, handling the bustle of the day, a 4:30 am workout and more-I REALLY needed a mental break!  I pulled out Eva and we had a talk.  I told her that I just wanted to do something fun, I sipped a cold beverage and realized I didn’t have a coaster at bay… ah ha!!!  The universe delivers!

Just what the doctor ordered!  Ella and I started to cut out lovely flowers with our Accuquilt BabyGo! and away I went!  I was on a roll!  I made a set of quick and fun coasters with flair!  I experimented with different stitches and fabrics-all from the sewing cave!  Woohoo!  What a quick fix and sense of accomplishment!

What are you working on?  QUTI wants to know!

Aloha and cheers!  Linda at



1, 2, 3 Birds on a Wire… a commissioned journey

During a recent family visit to Dallas, Texas, I stopped by a local quilt shop with my step-mother, affectionately called, my wicked step mother, and we bought a modern quilt book (see related post  My brother was intrigued and quickly picked not only his future bed quilt, but an accompanying wall ensemble.  It was a little much, but he IS my only brother after all! Honestly, I was touched he was interested…

A few weeks later, David (my bro) called with “a great idea…”  He says “Our childhood friend is getting married in two months, wouldn’t it be nice if you made that “Birds on a Wire” wall project for him?” Honored by the gesture and thinking it would actually be a sweet and sentimental gift, I said yes!  I naively went forward to my first commissioned piece.

First of all, most of you know this, but when you are quilting for something for yourself you feel you can experiment and have “special moments/mistakes” and carry on.  Well, when it is for someone else and for their wedding and hopefully, for the rest of their life, it puts a certain pressure about the project.

Ella is always up for a picture...

Those damn birds, I hand turned and stitched them with care.  Patience is not my virtue, so I conquered one bird a night.  My husband would call out each night-one bird on the wire… two birds on the wire… and so on-so cute! It actually kept me motivated and wiling to put up with the challenges of those beaks!!!

To add to my naivety, I decided to do my first stipple on the wall pieces.  Eeeeekkk!  I was righteous with my first stitches and didn’t practice anywhere else first.  It turned out lovely with one major technicality.  Who knew (everyone else apparently), that you should start your stipple in the middle and work outward.  I started on the top and went my merry way, naively all over the place and ended up with a huge section of gaping and extra fabric… ugh.  I learned that seam ripping stipple is an exercise in patience, let alone skill.

Once finished, I was so proud and made in with a day to spare… the package made it from Hawaii to Portland for the wedding with 24 hours to spare.  Eeeek!

I understand the gift was well received and I told my beloved brother he will have to wait for his birds as I need a bird break! :-)

Eva Bernina gets a new dress…

A new dress for Eva!

On a whim-I know-shocking!-I made Eva a “dress” fitting for the royalty that she is… White waffle weave fabric keeps her warm inside and a pretty pattern shows off her shape… You all know I LOVE rickrack so of course she got some of that!

Voila! Cute red polka dot ribbon keeps her dress on and discrete!

Cheers!  Linda at





Flamin’ Hot Big Boy’s Quilt…

Zacky, my sweet, sweet, almost 8 year old boy, approached me while quilting and asked why Ella has so many quilts… Ah….hmmmm…. quick on my feet…. I asked if he wanted one for his new big boy bed (knowing this is where he was heading).  He said yes, I want a quilt with flames.

Flames?  This is not exactly what I had in mind when looking at fabulous modern quilt books full of simple and beautiful ocean blue quilts with angelic young boys slumbering under…

I decided that it will be his quilt after all, so I better figure this out.  I ordered flame material online (I wasn’t about to search the State of Hawaii for this one!) and decided to adapt a pattern from my fab modern quilt book.

Then the family got involved in designing! The funny picture is Zack’s shorts left over from folding laundry got accidentally pinned to the back of the quilt!  LOL!

Okay, I decided to test out and practice my machine quilting techniques so I quilted each circle differently!  Silly and fun, I tell you…

Cheers!  Linda at

Don't happy!

Pillow Fight…QUTI of my first stipple!

It was time to expand my horizons! Linda entrusted me with the use of the beautiful Eva Bernina.  I wanted to use the last of the special pieces of my dad’s old clothes to make a few early Christmas present pillows.  To complete the pillow top, I wanted to do my first stipple.  For a girl who is often too uptight and worried about doing things the “right way”, this was a great experience. To stipple, you really have to loosen up and let it flow. Linda helped me to use her stipple stencil to chalk out my path, we did a little stipple practice on some scraps and then I was on my way.

So much fun! To be honest, I ended up not following my stenciled path which is obvious to anyone who looks too closely at the pillow but I found my groove after a bit and I love the way it looks.  In the middle of my stipple, I did hit a bit of a snag…ok, a big snag, when I broke the needle on Eva Bernina.  Yikes!  Linda, being the wise, patient teacher that she is, didn’t blink an eye, she changed out the needle in no time flat, and I finished!

I so enjoy quilting because it makes me push myself to learn new techniques every day.  What a great model for our children in the pusuit of being life long learners.  I’m off to create some Christmas gifts now…




Aunty Linda to the rescue…Thomas the Train birthday quilt

Unfortunately for the last few weeks I have not been able to quilt much, finding myself under the influence of lots of work, family and friends visiting from out of town, and preparing for my son’s birthday party. 

Every day for the two months leading up to his 5th birthday, my son would repeat his wishes just to be sure we were clear on what he wanted.  “I want a new scooter, a bounce house and Boco and Stepney (Thomas the Train engines)”.  Well, as the day approached we were able to find a scooter, got the bounce house rented and delivered to our backyard, and my husband tracked down the train engine named Stepney.  We discovered, however, that Boco the Train, which our son had spotted in one of his classic Thomas movies, had been discontinued.  By the time we found our way to track it down on Amazon, we had missed the deadline.  “Oh well” we thought. It would be a good opportunity to talk to our son about counting our blessings for the gifts we do receive.

The infamous Boco

Little did we know that Aunty Linda had a trick (and her talent for quilting) up her sleeve.  She used the beauty of technology and her inkjet printer to find pictures of Boco the Train and created a wonderful birthday quilt.  I gasped as I watched my son open the gift, genuinely surprised and awed at the perfect gift.  The next morning our son turned to my husband and I and smiled saying, “I got everything I wanted for my birthday!  Im so happy”.

Thanks to Aunty Linda for her thoughtfulness, creativity, and her great stash of materials and cool quilting techniques.

The birthday boy


Cheers, Kelly

Handprints to make it extra special!

Eva-Meet Your Brother, Bobbie and Your Grandmother Singa…

EVA! This is Eva Bernina Ezuka...

Eva, first meet your new baby brother Bobbie.  I know this is a surprise to you but in this case, gestation was short. In fact, it was a surprise to me too! I know you may be jealous from time to time but know that I have enough love for the both of you.  Eva, you are sweet, fancy and swirly and your brother, well… I am learning… is rugged and utilitarian.  Both equally important, for very different reasons.

This is my new bouncing baby boy! Bobbie Bernina Ezuka!

Bobbie is my new Serger, my new bouncing baby boy, brought home recently, well, secretly concealed in really… how do I really justify yet another machine?!?  Sergers used to be so foreign to me as they seems so superfluous.  Why would you really need yet another machine? – HA!  I am now a “true believer!”  I love whipping up rolled hem napkins galore!


Singa! and my first quilt!

Next, Eva and Bobbie, you may not quite know this but you have a grandmother that you have yet to meet.  Her name is Singa, my workhorse, my first, my forever, and one I will never part with.  I had her before I knew what a feed dog was and hers don’t drop, but I love her anyway.  I had her before I knew about variegated threads and warm and natural batting, and I never longed for more. I had her before I knew that she couldn’t stipple or stitch in the ditch and I loved her just the same. I had her before I knew I could quilt and that I could actually love it.  Singa and I had many firsts together… my first pillow, my first pillowcase, my first hem, my first elastic waist skirt, my first quilt… so many memories…

So, we are now one big happy family.  I am done now, perhaps I just need to focus now on family planning!  All is good… happy stitching everyone!

Cheers!  Linda at