There’s a little school in the valley… a tradition of quilting sentimental keepsakes continues at Holy Nativity School!

There’s a little school in the valley, at Maunalua Bay… you will get this once you go our Holy Nativity School’s website www.holynativityschool.org to hear our keiki (children) sing their school song.  It is even more angelic to hear it in person.  This little elementary school in Hawaii is over 62 years strong and has a rich tradition of quilters.

Each year, quilters prepare a quilt for each class with the helping hands of the keiki to create memories and quilts for a lifetime.  They are auctioned off at their annual fundraising event titled “Pa’ina” which raises anywhere from $500-$5,000 in recent auctions per quilt!  My children are in Kindergarten and Second grade and I have the pleasure of making the “Kinder” quilt that will be put up for auction this year.

I decided to try my hand at a cathedral quilt.  Not only to try something new but to introduce a new type of quilt to our long tradition of unique quilts.  Our quilters have made amazing pieces of art in the past with beautiful mosaics, rag quilts, story quilts and more!

I searched the web and found a lovely tutorial on cathedral blocksThe House of A La Mode blog demonstrates a modern pillow project and I just expanded the number of rows and columns and gave it a whirl!  This project is more fabric origami more than anything else.  It takes patience and more patience until you can’t imagine doing another block!  Your hard work will pay off in the end-it is truly unique and lovely…

The keiki drew items that were important to them from nature and I then fussy cut their art to fit the blocks.  I also used some of their old uniforms to recycle and re-purpose this lovely fabric to make it even more sentimental to their time here at Holy Nativity School and their elementary school days.

Here is a sneak peek; I have more to do… and I will post more as I go and also share other pictures of our Pa’ina quilts, guest bloggers and the like-the quilts are really sweet and sentimental…like only children’s art can be!  The event is March 2, 2012!

What projects are you working on for charity or others?  QUTI wants to know…

A Quilt for a Pampered Pet! The BabyGo! Delivers!

Another commissioned quilt for the Wicked Step Mother…Hmmm, something is so wrong about making a quilt for a dog but it’s for family-what can I say???

There are no words here...

A little background is in order… my father and my Wicked Step Mother (a shared affection in deed :-)), welcomed Zoe into their lives in 2005 and their lives have changed forever.  First of all, they are obsessed.  So much so, I think Zoe ranks over their own grandchildren…really, I think an intervention is in order!

Here is evidence.  I would like to think that this was staged as a joke, but I am afraid, it might not be…or perhaps they should explain in their own defense?

Ok, back to quilting… I used my awesome Accuquilt Go!Baby with my new Rick Rack die!  Woohoo!  Both rock-get them!  Check out the starter set!  And sign up on their website for 22 free patterns!  Join the other 50,000 friends on Accuquilt’s Facebook page!

Woohoo!

The Layers

 

So I cut my rick rack with ease using my lovely Go!Baby.  I layered my fabric with interfacing to make it all cut perfectly with the interfacing!  I am telling you-the Go!Baby makes this sooooo easy and fast! My interfacing of choice is my favorite Pellon Wonder Under 805 (love this stuff-check it out!).  Used my Warm and Natural Batting (again, love this stuff, won’t quilt without it!) and sealed it with a minky dot cuddle fabric… wow! do you think I can change the name and keep it instead?  Ha!

 

 

And so, I machine quilted the rest using white and metallic threads to make it even more festive! Yes, festive for the Zoe, it does seem so wrong… but if it were your precious baby, you would do the same I suppose!

Zoerrific!

Postscript:  I just know I am going to hear it from my brother… he sent fabric and threatened me that I better not make Zoe’s quilt before his-ooops…  Here is my defense… he ordered a king size quilt-the quilters will understand, the brother won’t… peace out…

Spooky Halloween Post-by Guest Blogger Tiffany

Cheers to the QUTI Club!  Here is Tiffany, an avid QUTI follower’s post…

Ever since last year, I wanted to make a tree quilt.  I spent the summer looking at the Monkeypod trees at basketball practice and wondered how a tree would look on fabric.  Then, my son’s 2nd grade class explored thanksgiving through the 5 senses and my daughter just loved the many different happy Halloween prints at the fabric store.  Voila!  The tree quilt presented itself–a cobweb trunk with pumpkin and spider leaves, art from my 2 year old, and thoughts from my son…what an excellent way to celebrate the fall holidays!

A quilt born from celebrating under the influence of my kids, fabulous fabric, fantastically creative friends, and the holiday season before us!!

Signed, Tiffany, a QUTI fan and obsessive hand quilter

 

Olivia for Olivia!

Ella was invited to a lovely 6-year-old party for one of her best buddies named Olivia and I just couldn’t resist making her a “namesake keepsake” to bring along…  The girls dressed up in their princess attire, had their make up, nails and hair done, and they flaunted down a run way of sorts for good ol’ fashion “best friends forever” fun!

Ian Falconer rules! Ian Falconer is an award winning author, illustrator and stage designer. He is also the creator of Olivia, our favorite piglet. Olivia has been the subject of many of Ian's books including Olivia (for which he won the Caldecott Honor in 2000), Olivia Saves the Circus, Olivia's Opposites, Olivia Counts, and many more including this year's Olivia Goes to Venice.

Check out Olivia's website for more fun!  http://www.oliviathepiglet.com/

BFFs rock! 

Do your quilts hang low, do they wobble to and fro?

Can you tie them in a knot, can you tie them in a bow…? Hang-Ups are QUTI’s new fav!!!

While trying to transform Ella’s room to meet her new 5 year old expectations (her what??? Exactly…I digress)… I Googled (is that actually a word yet?), to find an easy way to hang a few quilts.  Her stark white walls needed a quick splash of color!

Yippee!  Look what I found!

It was a miracle that I could find tacks and voila, I had wall art!  Check it out!

Hung Up!

As for the quilt, it was a first attempt at a quilt concept I am in the process of perfecting, I hate the trunk, but love Ella’s Pre-Kindergarten friends in the tree…

Here is how you use them, I loved how I could just use tacks for a quick install or use the cool hard core tape option-I am now a quilt hanging rock star!  Ok, not really, but I felt righteous!

What are other ways you use to hang and display your quilts? 

Cheers!   Linda at www.quti.org

 

My Namesake Gets a Keepsake!

Blue, bunnies and brown! Woohoo!

As some of you might remember, I cleared out, organized, and carved a path in my sewing cave (see related post http://wp.me/p1JRkn-ez) to accommodate house guests-my mom and my Aunty Linda.  Yes, my namesake and my mom came to visit the islands and to play with the kids, of course!

Little did they know, we had a packed week filled with cub scouts, birthday parties, regattas, Halloween parties (plural)-a relaxing Hawaiian vacation it was not!

In anticipation of Aunty Linda’s visit and her own Hawaiian birthday celebration, I ordered lovely Lily and Will Jelly Roll Blue by Bunny Hill for Moda Fabrics and coordinating fabric from the Fat Quarter Shop.  http://www.fatquartershop.com/Lily-and-Will-Bunny-Hill-Designs-Moda-Fabrics.asp  Love the Fat Quarter Shop!

I then consulted my quilting library of books and patterns-how did I collect so many in such a short amount of time??? Sound familiar?  I chose Bars of Gold from Jelly Roll Quilts by Pam & Nicky Lintott.  An excellent book-get it! http://tinyurl.com/74zgh5t  Check out the Quilt Room too! http://www.quiltroom.co.uk

I finished the quilt top in time for her arrival and her birthday celebration but needed to finish the quilt before her departure!  Eeek!  We celebrated and toured Hawaii with a drive around the island, fishing, a play date, a plumbing leak, a visit with the turtles on the North Shore, soap making, Cub Scouts, Halloween parties, trick or treating, and more!

All the while, we indulged each night with a little cocktail or wine to celebrate that we actually got through our hectic, yet fun-filled days!  With a day to spare, in true QUTI style, I finished it! Whew!

 

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 QUTI.org

Don't worry...be 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…

Cheers,

Kelly

 

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!

Hold your horses!

Getting ready to baste!

My mom (Grammy) has also been inspired to get into the QUTI fun.  She decided to make a very special gift for her sister who has been a life long horse lover.  So we went on a fun field trip to the fabric store unsure if we’d find enough fabrics that would work together (the pattern we selected called for 1 yard of 8 different fabrics).  Our heads were soon spinning with too many choices!  I had my first expereince of realizing how one can get “lost” in a fabric store for hours. We found beautiful fabrics and even one that had horses galloping on it. Being the very linear thinking ladies that we are, we really pushed ourselves to think outside of the box a bit and mix up our choices.  The combination of our fabrics looks fantastic!

We certainly learned a lot of valuable lessons while tackling what turned out to be a big quilt.  As we’ve heard experienced quilters say, there’s always a mistake in each quilt but that’s what makes it so special.  Well, let me tell you, if that’s the case, this is a really special quilt!  In all seriousness, the quilt turned out great.

Learning how to join two pieces of batting.

Linda was a great coach every step of the way.  She taught us how to combine two pieces of batting, how to add fun embellishments, and ways to organize our project once we’d finished cutting.  One evening, while quilting together at Grammy’s house and enjoying a little white wine, we found ourselves in a mini dispute over the definition of columns vs. rows, but it resulted in us cracking up and asking, “Are we talking about the same thing?”

We’ve got a few last touches to add, but we can see the finish line and we aren’t even going to wait until Christmas to mail it.  We’ll be sending it to my aunt in a few short weeks, and I have a feeling that she will treasure it.

Cheers, Kelly

My favorite model trying out the quilt!

Great horse fabric!