Category Archives: DIY

Blog Update!

Hi Everyone!
It’s been almost a year since my last blog update, and there are many new things that have happened since then. Life has been very busy with the kids. In a few weeks, I’ll be making some revisions to my blog and adding in more posts. ūüôā

I now offer a embroidery service, so if you need custom embroidery done, let me know and I can help you! I’ve also been working on getting an inventory of accessories together while working on new quilts. Here’s a glimpse of what will appear in my next round of posts:

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Flash Drive Cases

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Zipper Pouches

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Quilt Projects

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Including Quilt Blocks

Check out my Instagram page at MauiGirl80876 for other photos!

That’s it for now. See ya next time!

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Echo Quilt Progress, Heart Pillows for Mastectomy Patients, Final Weeks of Trimester 3

Before I begin my report on my progress, I have to extend a big “mahalo” or thank you to my husband for getting me a new sewing machine. He bought it for me a few weeks ago, but I never got a chance to thank him on my blog. Thank you sweetie!

Buying a new machine was completely his idea. In fact, I think it was meant more for him. =) Here it is…a Brother SE-400.

It’s a much quieter machine than my Singer, and it has all of the fun stuff to make sewing more efficient (automatic threader, thread cutter, drop in bobbin). I was ok with my old Singer machine, but my husband thought it would be a good idea to get a sewing machine that also did some embroidery. I have yet to try the embroidery functions (he’s already tried it out and loves it!), but what I love is that this machine allows me to do free motion quilting! This leads to the next topic…

Echo Quilt Progress

I’ve been making slow progress on my Echo print quilt, but I finally took some time yesterday to piece the backing together, add the batting, and run it through my machine using my new quilting foot (yay!). Here’s what I have so far:

This was the first “large” quilt that I have ever put together, measuring about 76″x76″. Since January, I’ve made two small baby quilts (patchwork and a rag quilt), each at about 36″x36″, a super easy “quilt as you go” quilt for my son, and a yellow/black quilt that he uses when he takes a nap in the afternoon.

One thing different about this quilt from the others that I’ve completed is that I used a free motion quilting foot for the first time and attempted to “stipple” this quilt. Each quilt that I’ve made so far have been all “stitch in the ditch” quilts. If you’re like me, and completely new to free motion quilting, my advice to you is to practice, practice, and practice…and also to learn the different quilting functions on your machine. I practiced a lot using leftover scraps of batting and broadcloth, but my biggest mistake was not knowing which quilting functions worked best for the stitching that I was aiming for.

I had completed the outside (white) border with what I thought was the stippling stitch, when the “light bulb” went off in my head, prompting me to try a different stitch. I think you can see the stitching in the next photo which shows the back of the quilt.

There were a great many number of errors, but the optimistic side of me believes that this was a great learning experience! I thought of giving this quilt to my parents or to my brother and his family, but I’ve gotten so attached to it that I might keep it for myself. I know…pretty selfish, but it’s just that this was the first “big” quilt that I put together. Besides, I had so many mistakes on it…maybe it’s best to keep it for myself for now. =) I promise to post pictures of the completed quilt with the binding. I hope to get that done in the next few days!

Heart Pillows (For Mastectomy Patients)

I had some other projects that I had been working on since my last blog, but I think the most important ones were the pillows that I made for someone dear to me who will be undergoing a mastectomy in a few days. I’ll blog more about my thoughts on breast cancer and how it has affected my family and circle of friends in an upcoming blog post, but I did want to share what these pillows looked like and how they bring comfort to patients who have undergone a mastectomy.

My mother had a mastectomy in 1999, and during her recovery, she received a small, rectangular shaped pillow from the volunteers at the American Cancer Society (ACS). She was encouraged to use the pillow under her arm so that it could relieve any pressure on the stitches from the surgery. Recovering from a mastectomy can be a very painful experience. From what I understand from my mother, the pillow made a difference in helping ease her pain and making her recovery a little more comfortable.

I think it’s so wonderful that there are volunteers at ACS who took the time to create these pillows for patients recovering from a mastectomy or a lumpectomy. When I found out that a “special” person in my life would be undergoing a mastectomy, I decided to create a pillow that would help ease some of her pain.

I searched the web to find a unique pillow pattern and came across a website called Heart Pillow Project. The instructions are simple and so easy, and the stories shared on the website are wonderful. I’m inspired to make more of these for other patients!

One variation that I made with these pillows is that I added ribbons at the top and tied them together so that the pillow would hang on the patient’s shoulder. I also added a little tag that reads “Made with Love”, just to give it a personal touch.

If you’d like to join me in making these pillows and giving them away to patients or to your local hospital or American Cancer Society office, let me know by sending me a comment or an e-mail. Also, post pictures of your completed work on my Flickr group, Heart Pillow Project 808.

I think this is a great way to make a difference in someone’s life. It lets a patient know that they’re not alone in their recovery, and that someone is thinking of them.

Final Weeks of Trimester 3

I’m about to enter the last stretch of my pregnancy (38 1/2 weeks and counting) and about to “go” any day now! This last phase of pregnancy involves a lot more back aches and difficulty getting up from bed or from a chair. Argh….But I’m so excited to be able to meet my little girl! She’s been very active in these past few weeks, sometimes putting on a show for her dad, her grandparents and for her cousins. My nieces and nephew think it’s so weird when my belly jumps and rolls. Trey’s also been a little more aware of the things that will belong to his little sister and pointing them out to us; her car seat, clothes, diapers, the crib that once belonged to him…=) What’s helped is this book called “The Baby Sister” by Tomie DePaola.

Tomie is one of my favorite children’s book authors, and he’s starting to become one of Trey’s favorite authors as well! Every night, before going to bed, Trey will ask me to read this story to him. After reading the story, I’ll put his hand on my tummy, and we’ll talk about him having a baby sister. It’s been a great way to get him ready for bed and for the big change coming up in our lives!

That’s it for now! Maternity leave starts this week, and I’ll be using this time to get odds and ends squared away and to get some rest. Yay!

A New Diaper Bag! (With Link to Tutorial)

These past few weeks, I’ve been admiring a number of Vera Bradley tote bags at a store in our local mall. ¬†Each time my husband and I would pass by the storefront, I’d often stop and tell him how much I like the vibrant colors and patterns, and the design of the bags. ¬†They’re beautiful! ¬†But I just couldn’t see myself buying one knowing that I could probably make it myself. ¬†And so began my next challenge…a new diaper bag!

I made a diaper bag a few weeks ago using a tutorial from Moda Bakeshop. It had blues and greens in it, perfect for my son! ¬†This time however, I decided to use fabrics in pink and yellow, and to use a tutorial from Andrea’s Originals. ¬†It’s a more “boxier” style than my first diaper bag, but what I like about it are the pockets and that it’s much bigger. ¬†I modified the size a bit to make a wider bag. ¬†My finished bag measures 16″x12″x5″.

I started with these fabrics from Robert Kaufman’s “Free to Grow” collection by Nancy Mimms.

I already had the yellow fabric in my stash, but needed the others for the front and back pockets and the handles. ¬†These fabrics were from Sew Special, one of our local fabric stores on Maui. ¬†The girls there were great in helping me find what I needed! ¬†What I don’t have pictured here is a hot pink gingham print that I used for my lining.

When I pieced the bag together, I decided to sew all the panels first, rather than sew them on to the bottom of the bag.

After sewing the panels, I pinned the bottom section to the panels and sewed around all four sides, starting with the long sides first and finishing off with the shorter sides.

A couple nights ago, I showed my husband my new diaper bag and asked him what he thought.  He asked where I had bought it from.  I found that to be the most perfect compliment!

The cost of the materials added with the time I spent on this bag probably amounted to the same as the cost of those Vera Bradley bags that I saw at the mall, but it was worth the effort and time.  It was sure worth knowing that it was something that I could make for myself!

New Fabrics!

Robert Kaufmann Fabric!!!
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This collection is Robert Kaufmann’s, Pick A Bunch collection, by Nancy Mimms. I believe the yellow print is also from Robert Kaufmann, but in a different collection.

I ordered a layer cake and a jelly roll from Missouri Star Quilt Company a few weeks ago, and it arrived within days! They’re so awesome! The yellow print was from Sew Special, a fabric store here on Maui.

The collection features different prints in shades of blue, green, red, yellow, mauve, and purple.

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I wasn’t sure what I would do with the fabric when I bought it. Call me an impulse buyer, but I loved what I saw and knew I could make something out of it. I love bright colors and retro prints. This collection was too cute to pass up. I’ll more than likely create another quilt, but my first objective is to create another diaper bag using the yellow print (in the first picture at the very top) as a the main part of the bag.

Here’s a canvas fabric that I bought over the weekend at Fabric Mart in Kahului….

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Cute huh? Not sure what I’ll want to do with this, but I loved the colors and the design! If you’re ever on Maui, check out Fabric Mart on Dairy Road in Kahului. They have a large collection of Hawaiian and Asian prints at great prices.

That’s it for now! I think I’ll get started on my second diaper bag in a little while…Till next time…=)

Weekend Projects: Boppy Pillow Cover, Rocket Applique T-Shirt, Echo Pillow Cover

I woke up on Saturday morning at about 5:00 a.m. wanting to make a couple things.  Both Trey and Herman were still asleep, so I quietly walked into the craft room to get started.

First thing I started on was a Boppy pillow cover. ¬†Boppy pillows are a great thing to have when you’re nursing or if you need extra support while holding baby in your arms. ¬†My first pregnancy was a C-section, so having a Boppy pillow made nursing a little more comfortable. ¬†When Trey was born, my husband bought me a Boppy pillow with a boyish cover; a blue print with cute green alligators. ¬†Since we’re having a girl in a few weeks, I decided to use some existing “girly” fabric that I had in my stash. ¬†This time, I used a grey and pink asian inspired print for the front, and a coordinating pink print for the back. Here are a few pictures:

I found the tutorial and pattern for this cover on a blog called Vanilla Joy.  The pattern was simple enough to piece together and easy to understand.  The pattern however, called for an invisible zipper.  I had never sewed zippers before, and was pretty fearful of what the end result would look like, but it came out well!  Here are a few more pictures:

It’s not quite an “invisible” zipper, but it does the job. ¬†Best part? ¬†I didn’t break a needle while sewing it on to my fabric!

And finally, here’s what the two prints look like next to each other. ¬†I believe I used a 1/4 inch seam allowance when I sewed the front and back pieces together. ¬†The cover fits the pillow perfectly!

Next project was a no-sew applique project. ¬†My son has been talking about rockets and using words such as, “mission control” or “blast off to space”, so I thought it would be cute to make him a t-shirt with a rocket applique.

Here’s what it looks like and the fabrics I used…

I found a few pictures of rocket appliques from several websites to use as examples, and drew a rocket on to a piece of paper to create a template. ¬†After creating the template pieces, I transferred them on to a piece of Heat n Bond paper, making sure to reverse the template pieces and tracing them on to the bumpy or adhesive side of the Heat n Bond paper. ¬†The next step was to iron the pieces on to the fabric, cut them out, lay them on to Trey’s shirt, and iron. ¬†That easy!

I had just finished the t-shirt when Trey woke up and walked into my craft room. ¬†After wishing him a good morning, I showed him the shirt, and his words were, “Oooh, Mommy…it’s a rocket ship!” ¬†At that moment, he tugged at his pajama shirt as if to take it off so that he could wear his new rocket ship shirt. ¬†I’m so happy that he liked it!

Some things I’d want to do the next time I work on an applique project:

First, use a more thicker shirt. ¬†For this shirt, I used a Hanes shirt that I think is more of an undershirt. We had a couple of these that we bought for his Halloween costume and for wearing under a Barong. ¬† You can’t tell from the picture, but these kinds of shirts look a bit transparent…I really didn’t like that.

Next, although this was meant to be a quick and easy project with no sewing involved, I think I’d want to try an embroidery stitch and outline the design. ¬†I’ve seen other designs where the image was outlined. ¬†It just looks more tailored. ¬†But like I said earlier, this was a fun, quick and easy project that anyone can do! ¬†Here’s a great applique tutorial from Missouri Star Quilt Company:

Okay, last project…I didn’t quite complete this on Saturday morning, but on Friday night.

I had some leftover jelly roll pieces from my Echo quilt, and I decided to use them for a cover for my 12″x16″ pillow.

Yup…another quick and easy project! ¬†I’ll probably make a few more slip covers using the rest of the left over jelly roll strips in the next few weeks!

That’s it for now. ¬†Hope you all had a great weekend!

Quilted Tote Bag – Tutorial from Moda Bakeshop

Moda Fabrics has a great blog at www.modabakeshop.com. ¬†The contributors have so many great ideas, which include different types of quilt ideas, gifts, apparel, home decor, and all other goodies that use precut fabrics from Moda. ¬†I searched their blog site for a tote bag, and came across the “recipe” for the Hushabye Tote Bag and Coin Quilt¬†made of yardage, jelly roll strips, some interfacing and fusible fleece. ¬†The great part about this recipe is that there’s enough material from the jelly roll to create a small coin quilt. ¬†Well, here’s my take on the tote bag!

While I didn’t have the Hushabye jelly roll on hand, I decided to use some existing fabric I had. ¬†I’m not that great at coordinating fabric colors, but I’m still happy with the end result!

I thought twice about the orientation of the bag. There were times when I would look at the pieces and go “Hmmmmmm…is it this way, or that way?” Instead of a shorter and wider tote, I put together a taller and narrow one with deep pockets. ¬†This was actually done by accident. ¬†I should’ve gone with my original thought, but that’s ok…it still looks great. =)

Here’s a photo of what the side of the bag looks like.

There are four deep pockets in the front and back, and the bag itself has great space for clothes, diapers, and lots of toys.

I like that I can fit a sippy cup in the front pocket. ¬†I could also fit one of my son’s favorite books and a package of wipes!

I started cutting the pieces on Saturday night and completed the sewing in a few hours on Sunday night. ¬†The little one and I replaced his Angry Birds backpack and¬†started using this tote bag this morning. ¬†The tote is so much easier to use than that backpack, and surprisingly enough, could fit more things. ¬†I’ll be giving this “recipe” another try and thinking about different ideas for adding inside pockets and a flap. ¬†I love this bag and can’t wait to give it another try!

Echo Print Jelly Roll and Charm Pack Quilt

One of my favorite online quilting/fabric shops is Missouri Star Quilt Company. I browsed their website the other week and found a great deal on their Echo print Jelly Roll and Charm Pack by Lotta Jansdotter. I bought two of each with the intent of making a lap quilt for myself or something for the kids to snuggle up with.

I think it was the colors used in the prints that caught my eye. Then I realized that I had a wall hanging that was very similar to them! I have one in green (as pictured below) and another one in cranberry red. It sort of reminds me of a lehua blossom.

In the past week or so, I spent some time in cutting pieces for for my blocks. I decided to go with an easy block pattern, just taking the charm pack square and using the jelly roll strips to create a border. When do I find the time? I usually get to work on my sewing late at night, when the little one is sleeping or when he and my husband are playing with his cars or trains. =)

Here’s what I’ve completed so far! I used strips of white Kona fabric and 2.5″ in squares to create a sash around the blocks. I have yet to complete the border to this quilt top (maybe a grey border) and finish it with the backing and binding.

Hoping to get it all done this weekend! My husband and I however, have so much more to do before baby arrives in a month. Will keep you posted!