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…

New Year’s resolution from a fellow fabricholic!

Help, I need a 12 step program!!! It is like I woke up one day and *poof* I practically have a fabric store in my sewing cave!  Where did it all come from?  I promise that I only went to the fabric store once, slightly under the influence, and came back with goodies that I didn’t really need… but that is another story.  The rest, well… is history now. Yes, I am girl that fellow QUTI girls come to when they need just a little bit of black, or a little bit of Wonder Under, or a little bit of this or that… yes, I usually deliver and don’t let my girlies down!

So here it goes, a public announcement to the world… wait for it…. wait for it….

I, Linda, vow not to buy any fabric in 2012.  There, I said it.  Whew… I feel so righteous!  Can I do it?  Eeek! I have more than I will ever need to complete at least a year’s worth of projects.  And to honor our family’s financial goals, it is the least I can do… and I might even have fun at it!  My husband better watch his back… you know, literally, as I might need to re-purpose his nice work shirts to stitch in desperate times and desperate measures…

Oh, to all of my online and local retailers, don’t worry, I will still support our nation’s economy with scads of notions, and stuff… you know, it takes more than fabric to make cherished memories!

What is your sewing resolution!  I will pick a winner on January 6th based on the most wild, silly and most QUTI comment out there.  Happy wild and righteous planning!

Cheers!  Linda at Quilting Under The Influence

P.S., aka Footnote, aka disclosure…  That doesn’t mean I can’t participate in a fabric exchange or accept fabric gifts… come on, I have to be reasonable with my resolutions, right?  :-)

A great present…QUTI of Poopsie memories

 

My dad (aka Poopsie) was witty, silly, loyal, hard working and a dedicated family man. He battled colon cancer valiantly but unfortunately he passed away in October 2003. We shared many of his treasures and clothes with family and still get a chuckle now when we see a relative wearing one of his shirts around.

As my younger brother’s 21st birthday was approaching last month I thought about what I could possibly give him, aside from the traditional celebratory 21 year old beverage of course. That’s when the inspiration hit me. We had saved some of my dad’s clothes and stored them in a closet. My mom and I got out the bag and had a great walk down memory lane as we pulled out each piece. There were the various Tshirts he’d gathered over the years from his favorite spots on Maui where he spent most of his summers growing up. There were the aloha shirts that had been his work uniform for many years as a car sales finance manager. It was the two pairs of pants we found at the bottom of the bag that were the most priceless.

My dad was always a jokester and he saw an ad in a magazine years ago for seersucker pants which he thought he could single handedly bring back into fashion. So partly as a joke and partly out of a serious love of seersucker material, he placed the order and they became quite a conversation piece.

We had a beautiful collection of dad’s clothes and although there was a brief moment of pause and reflection before I made the first cut, we felt such great energy and joy as we repurposed dad’s clothes to make my brother a memory quilt!

Black material provided the perfect masculine border and due to my procrastination, I ended up putting in a marathon 10 hour sewing day to get it done in time.  I finished it off by adding a personal message with my fabric markers and my brother was genuinely touched by what turned out to be the perfect gift.

And we actually ended up with extra squares of dad’s clothes, so now we’re planning to make other fun gifts for Christmas.

Cheers, Kelly

 

Snuggling with The Camp Quilt under the influence of CNN’s hurricane coverage

I’m not quilting this morning.  I’m snuggling with a quilt while under the influence of CNN’s coverage of the hurricane. Usually, in Hawaii, we are the ones facing the hurricane, but somehow it’s even more nerve-wracking watching and worrying for those so far away.

As I sit here in my pajamas watching coverage of Hurricane Irene, I find myself praying for the East Coast as I snuggle a little closer to one of my favorite quilts. Linda made my mom a tremendous gift earlier this year. We call it The Camp Quilt.

My mom is an angel who dedicates her free time to volunteer for various organizations that help people in critical health. Through her work she’s volunteered at an annual camp. Each volunteer get a t shirt and when I mentioned this to Linda I think I actually saw a light bulb go off over her head.

“Aha! I’ve been wanting to learn this new t shirt quilt technique. I want to make something special for your mom!”

So in true ‘life long learner Linda’ style, she signed up for a quilting class, and in no time she had completed an amazing memory quilt. When my mom showed the quilt to her fellow volunteers, they made it even more special by signing their names and words of appreciation to the quilt with fabric markers. Now all of the volunteers want a quilt, too!

Linda’s enthusiasm reminds me that quilting allows us to try new things each time we create something.  For me, a girl who likes consistency and routine, I love that quilting helps me to experiment and break out of my box.  It’s exhilarating!

Here’s to great memory quilts, trying new things, and to wishing all of those on the East Coast well today and in the days to come.

Cheers, Kelly

Geeezzzzz… everything seems to have another QUTI purpose!

Ok, I was at Safeway, yes, the grocery store, the one I frequent for the staples of life… milk, eggs, fruit, oh wait…. the impulse isle-a fabric throw made of recycled material! $6.99 what a deal? and for a 60×60 piece of fabric-come on quilters, don’t you agree?  Being impulsive and a little ADHD, yes… I bought it!

Feeling righteous for buying an eco-friendly product, and oh so thrifty (it is so not me, but I am trying), I thought I could embellish it with my new Baby Go! Did I say I was impulsive and a little ADHD?  A friend gave me a beautiful Amazon Gift Certificate and I got my frivolous and all important new quilting tool.  Okay, I am sorry, Baby Go, you are not frivolous, you are a tool.  I stand corrected… yes, by myself.

Okay, I digress, or progress, who knows… I pulled out the Baby Go for the first time- WOOO HOOOO!  Geez… a little cute girl thought it was fascinating as well… Ahhh, another “teachable moment” – that is my new code phrase.

Focus Linda.  Okay, but isn’t she cute?  I so love her… Yes, Ella primarily and yes, also the Go Baby…

Onto the project, right?  I pulled out the eco-find and decided to Eva Bernina the flowers (it seemed to so tropical and fun) to embellish with these great pops of color.  Oh, and of course, the colors are so our QUTI colors-yes, I have QUTI on the brain!!!

The sick part of this story is I woke up in the middle of the night and had to sew the binding.  Yes, you “heard” that right.  After sleeping for four hours, I woke up at 1 and sewed until 3:30am… I must seek professional help I am sure!!!!  I even talked to myself and said “Linda, this is lame… why are sewing in the middle of the night? and why can’t you stop?”  I said, back to myself, “Well, I just need to finish the binding so I can feel like I accomplished something.”  “Oh,” I said, “That’s lame.”  I said, “Yes, it is but it is soooo me!”

Well, there it is… just four flowers and my beautiful binding!

Cheers!  Linda, Blogging Under The Influence

“Honey, I ruined your Tommy Bahama shirts”

Wait, wait, let me explain!

We went through a Dave Ramsey money management course and we were on a roll. Brian, my husband, and I started cutting our spending habits left and right. It was invigorating!

Here is where it gets interesting. I figured we were spending too much on dry cleaning and that I could be a “good wife” and start to wash and iron Brian’s work shirts. I figured I would not only feel like a righteous wife, we could save a bundle on our dry-cleaning budget.

Well, in Hawaii, business professionals wear aloha shirts and my husband loves his silk, Tommy Bahama shirts. He has collected many over the years and I must say he looked dapper in them. “Looked” being the operative word.

I wash my first batch in the delicate cycle, hung dried them… off to a good start, I thought. Well, kinda. Feeling righteous, I decided to overachieve and iron them as well. I sprayed my first panel and ugh… I stained the shirt!

I thought, oh it must just be this color of shirt, so I moved to the next one. You would think I would learn with the first $150 dollar shirt, but no…

The next one stained as well. Geez! Yep, it was confirmed that I wasn’t the domestic goddess I thought I was. Duh! I should have stuck to banking!

Back to others… So I learned not to spray the shirts first and kept laundering the others. Yes, my drive to complete all of his laundry resulting in over $1,000 in damage since “NOTE TO ALL” these silk shirts don’t launder well and all changed their shape. Oh, by the way, yes… these sequence of events all happened under a sober state (maybe this is where I took a wrong turn…)!

With my tail tucked, I shared the disaster with him.  Yes, he is such a loving man that, yes… we are still married today!

So, I decided to “make lemonade” so to speak! I took my first cut, which was my most expensive cut to date! Then, I kept cutting and cutting, and check this out! So, since I took the process challenge, here is my half finished, $1,000+ quilt rows… It makes me nervous-what will I back it with? How will I launder it? Any ideas would be welcome. I will keep you updated on my progress.

Cheers, still married Linda

Ella’s Baby Clothes: Repurposed Memories

Okay. This was my second quilt… And yes, wine was involved!

The first cut was the hardest! I treasured Ella’s baby clothes as if I were clinging to precious gemstones or as if it was the coveted outfit we brought her home in from the hospital. And then I took a sip of wine, a deep breath, and … yes… I cut.

I used my embellished rotary cutter and my 4 1/2 inch Olfa square and fussy cut the sweet pieces of fabric. I also kept the pockets, ribbons and even Lola! Cutting Lola, Ella’s fav stuffy, added such a great dimension… And she loves it to this day!

I finished this treasure with a sweet and soft yellow blanket binding-so fun! I believe in using, not just displaying quilts, and this one gets loved a lot! I have even taken a rare nap or two under it, cuddling with Lola.

Oh, that reminds me, I soooooo need a nap!!!

Cheers, Linda