WIP Wednesday: Nani Iro take 1

carla Fabric, Quilting 3 Comments

Over the last week or so I’ve taken these two lovely groups of fabric and turned them into a pile of cuttings, and one of them into a quilt top! They are Nani Iro double gauze from Japan designed by Naomi Ito.

All prewashed and fluffy! One more set to get from Finch Sewing Studio tomorrow and project twinsies nani iro quilts will be underway!

More nani iro. Squee!

The design is my own, based on a 20″ grid. I wanted to highlight the large scale prints in the Nani Iro double gauze.

I’m developing a bit of a love-hate relationship with the substrate. It’s very soft and fluffy, so I love that. But, it requires prewashing (which I never do) and it has a lot of friction between layers as well as more stretch than you think so getting it to line up correctly and lie straight is a bit of a challenge. I can already tell basting is going to be a challenge.

Despite that, I cut four quilts out of a total of 19 yards. It’s such an expensive substrate (and from Japan!) that I wanted to make sure I used every last bit.

Keeping the cat off of my nani iro is proving to be a challenge. Almost have it all sorted out.

I sorted everything into the various piles and tried to keep the cat off of them.

I saved the selvedges – I’m thinking of a giveaway sometime when I debut all the quilts!
Nani iro double gauze selvedges

I took advantage of the snow day yesterday to put together the first top. You can see just how I laid it out for the photos below that the coefficient of friction between the fabric and the carpet makes it difficult to lay out straight. I’m probably going to need an extra set of hands to help baste.

Nani iro 85x85" top finished

Nani iro 85x85" top finished

I love how subtle the fabrics are, but it makes them difficult to photograph well

In any case, I hope to get a good start on the next quilt top while I ponder how to quilt this one.

Here’s my list:


  1. Briar Rose Giant Star Gallery Quilt – 1/15
  2. Mend HST Journey and wash to submit to Gallery – 1/15
  3. January do. Good Stitches block – 1/31
  4. February do. Good Stitches block – 2/28
  5. Design, make block, and post do. Good Stitches Nurture Circle March Quilt – 2/28
  6. Make a back for the Chicopee Checkerboard top that Amy gave me, get it sandwiched, quilted, and bound. – 3/15
  7. Nani Iro Wedding Quilt – 2/28  3/31 (top made, need to get the backing delivered, pre washed, basted, quilted, and bound)
  8. Nani Iro quilt for me – 3/31
  9. Nani Iro giant star – 3/31
  10. Nani Iro Baby Quilt – 3/31

Linking up to WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced!

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced


carlaWIP Wednesday: Nani Iro take 1

Blog-o-versary Winners!

carla Fabric Leave a Comment

The giveaway for my Blog-o-versary has ended and the winners are:

First Prize: Mariana who said “Hello Carla! You have a new follower here. I see you adore the same fabrics I do. This is an awesome giveaway and Happy Birthday to your blog! Thanks!!!”

Second Prize: Elif who said “thank you! I’m a new follower…”

Third Prize: Laurie who said “Awesome! Thanks for the chance.”

Thanks to all who participated! Winners – check you inbox!

Here’s to another year!



carlaBlog-o-versary Winners!
Briar Rose Giant Star

Finished: Briar Rose Giant Star

carla Finished in 2014, Finished Projects, Quilting 3 Comments

** If you’re looking for my Blog-o-versary giveaway, it’s this way! **

I’ve finished my Briar Rose Giant Star quilt inspired by Jeni’s great tutorial. The fabrics used are Briar Rose by Heather Ross and Essex Linen Yarn Dyed in Black (a 50/50 blend of cotton and linen). I added a thin border to the star and then a piano key border made from other prints in the collection.

Briar rose giant star finished

Briar rose giant star finished

Since this is my entry into the DC Modern Quilt Guild’s gallery show I decided to go all out on the quilting. It took about 5 hours just to mark out all the quilting lines. The crosshatch is a 1″ grid. that fills in the negative space in the Essex Linen. Inside the star points is a “dot-to-dot” style design and in the border I did a similar style – three lines in a staggered chevron design.

Briar rose giant star finished


The back is more of my favorite orange bee print and a pieced column of larger pieces of the other prints in the collection.

Briar rose back


Quilt Stats
name: Briar Rose Giant Star
size: queen size, approximately 84″ square
pattern: Jeni Baker’s Giant Vintage Star with added borders
fabrics: Briar Rose by Heather Ross, Robert Kaufman Essex Linen in Yarn Dyed Black
quilting: straight line cross hatch, dot to dot, and staggered chevrons in light gray Mettler and Gutermann.

carlaFinished: Briar Rose Giant Star

Blog-o-versary Giveaway!

carla Fabric 23 Comments

***This Giveaway is now closed! Thanks for stopping by!***

To celebrate the end of my first year in the blogosphere I’m hosting my first ever giveaway!

I’ve been very lucky in my short-lived quilting and blogging career to have won several giveaways including one that stands out especially – May Chappell gave away 100 Fat Eighths last spring – and I won! I don’t have 100 fat eighths to give away, but I dug through my scrap bin and my charm square collection and I came up with not one, but three giveaway prizes!

Prize #1: A bag of Briar Rose Selvedges, and a whole bunch of my largest scraps. Fabrics include my favorite textured solid – Essex Linen in Yarn Dyed Black, Fabrics from Heather Ross, Melody Miller, Dear Stella, and many others.

Giveaway prizes

Prize #2: Two large scraps – IKEA Origami Animals and enough gray plaid to create quite a bit of binding, as well as approximately 60 charm squares (enough for a baby quilt) with fabrics ranging from Briar Rose, Kaffe Fassett, Waterfront Park, Les Amis, Koi, and many more.

Giveaway prizes

Prize #3: Approximately 60 charm squares ranging from Comma, Denise Schmidt, Koi, Les Amis, Briar Rose, and many more.

Giveaway prizes

To enter, just leave a comment on this blog post and then mark it in the RaffleCopter Widget! The giveaway will be open until Sunday, January 19 at 11:59pm Eastern Standard Time.

Thanks so much for being a part of my first year – I’ve got a lot planned for 2014 and I hope you’ll stay for the ride!


a Rafflecopter giveaway

carlaBlog-o-versary Giveaway!

WIP Wednesday: MAGFest and a full accounting

carla Charity, Quilting Leave a Comment

MAGFest was this past weekend so I haven’t gotten a lot of sewing done since New Year’s Eve when I spent most of the day quilting my Briar Rose Giant Star quilt.

Related to MAGFest, I’m thrilled to announce that my Link Pixel Quilt sold for $675 at the MAGFest / Child’s Play charity auction! My friend Ian was the winning bidder, and I’m sure it’s going to a good home. All in all between the auction, table flipping, and pot-smashing (it was a Zelda theme this year) we raised $21,000!

My contribution to the table flipping was a $40 donation to have the table set up with plushies having a tea party. I then ruined their day (and thereby blew off some steam). Table flipping for charity seems like a weird thing, but trust me, it’s fun and there’s no buyer’s remorse.

Plushie Tea Party for Table Flipping

Another item at the auction was the chance to tape one of the charity staff (Little Steve) to a chair. It was pretty funny to see and he was a really good sport about it.

MAGFest Charity Auction

I actually took a sick day yesterday because MAGFest really wiped  me out. I started to get sick on Friday – a cough, no voice, and some sniffles. Too much fun and a lack of sleep didn’t help matters. I made it to work on Monday and promptly wished I had requested it off initially. At the time I wasn’t sure how many days of leave I would have. (As it turns out, more than enough. Lesson learned.) I got home from work Monday night and passed out at 9pm. I woke up at 5am Tuesday and realized just how bad I felt. I texted my boss to request sick leave and went back to bed – I didn’t wake up til 10:30am. I guess my body really needed the rest.

Back to the sewing, I found that I had energy in the afternoon so I finished the quilting on the Giant Star, made the binding, and trimmed it – only to be wiped out again. I rested for several hours and then managed to attach and top-stitch down the binding. The only things left are to touch up a couple of spots on the topstitching where the binding didn’t quite catch and to finish the two edges of the label not secured under the binding

Briar Rose Giant Star

Briar Rose Giant Star back


The quilting is definitely way more detailed than anything I’ve attempted before. I think it turned out well and you can really see it on the back as well as the front. It took probably 5 hours to mark the whole thing with a frixxion pen before really quilting it. For the borders I used the seams as a guide and only marked where I wanted the peaks to fall. That resulted in them being slightly more organic than the rest of the quilt, but not in a bad way.

This is the first quilt I’ve made without a recipient in mind. I’m really hoping it gets accepted into the gallery show and is eventually sold. I worked really hard on it and I hope that someone will appreciate that.

Briar Rose Giant Star border quilting detail


I struggled a little bit with my extension table. I ended up taping it in place because while it sets down on top of a pin, there’s nothing really to keep it from getting picked up and moved by the weight of the quilt. As the quilting got denser, the stiffer and heavier the quilt got. This was a solution.



Reflecting on last year and the mosaic I made for my last post, I’ve decided that one of my major goals for 2014 is to make more quilts for me and to try to keep my obligation sewing in balance with fun / for me sewing and charity sewing. I feel good with the level of commitment I have now, so I’m going to work on keeping that. It looks like I may not be able to participate in 100 Quilts For Kids this year but that’s OK. My two do. Good Stitches quilts are pretty close together so they will have to suffice.


Here’s my list, broken up into this quarter and beyond.


  1. Briar Rose Giant Star Gallery Quilt – 1/15
  2. Mend HST Journey and wash to submit to Gallery – 1/15
  3. January do. Good Stitches block – 1/31
  4. February do. Good Stitches block – 2/28
  5. Nani Iro Wedding Quilt – 2/28
  6. Design, make block, and post do. Good Stitches Nurture Circle March Quilt – 2/28
  7. Make a back for the Chicopee Checkerboard top that Amy gave me, get it sandwiched, quilted, and bound. – 3/15

Further out:

  1. April do. Good Stitches block – 4/30
  2. Quilt and finish do. Good Stitches Nurture Circle March Quilt – 5/15
  3. May do. Good Stitches block – 5/31
  4. Possible portrait commission – 6/1
  5. Wedding Quilt – 6/14 (stars, pinwheels, bear claws, etc in blues, greens, reds, white background — possibly a Vintage Quilt Revival Sampler?)
  6. Design, make block, and post do. Good Stitches Nurture Circle July Quilt – 6/30
  7. June do. Good Stitches block – 6/30
  8. August do. Good Stitches block – 8/31
  9. September do. Good Stitches block – 9/30
  10. Quilt and finish do. Good Stitches Nurture Circle July Quilt – 9/15
  11. 3 x Scrappy Commission Quilts – 12/1 (100″ x 100″ each)
  12. October do. Good Stitches block – 10/31
  13. “Green quilt” for me  – no deadline
  14. AMH Feather quilt for me – no deadline

It sure seems like a lot, but compared to what I accomplished last year, I think I can do it.

Linking up to WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced!

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

carlaWIP Wednesday: MAGFest and a full accounting
2013 makes

Hello 2014!

carla Charity, Finished in 2013, Finished Projects, Quilting 2 Comments

I wanted to take a moment to reflect on the last year in the final hours of 2013.

This blog is nearly a year old now – just a couple more weeks – and I’m personally astonished at all I’ve been able to accomplish both creatively and on the blog and I’m thrilled to have a small but loyal following. Thank you for everything.

I’ve managed to finish a total of 21 quilts, a top (my first ever garment sewing!), an iPad case and a mug rug. I’ve done a LOT of charity sewing between 100 Quilts For Kids, do. Good Stitches, and my quilt to be auctioned for Child’s Play. I think I really have found a niche – I love sewing for other people, especially kids, and picking out fabrics and patterns they will enjoy.

2013 Makes


I’ve also upgraded to a big Bertha of a machine – a Janome 8900 that has 100% changed my life. It has been worth every penny I spent on it. It is allowing me to quilt the way I’ve dreamed about and the proof is in my (nearly done) pudding.

Crosshatch quilting done! Now onto marking and quilting the border.

I finally cut into my Briar Rose stash to make a Giant Star (tutorial by Jenni Baker) and added a piano key border. While it is a relatively simple (and traditional) top design, I’ve been going all out on the quilting. I have about 12 hours in so far marking and straight-line quilting. Because of the tight turns in the 1″ grid crosshatch there would be no way I could have done this on my old machine. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that it will be accepted into the DC Modern Quilt Guild show at the galleries of the Anacostia Arts Center, and keeping my toes crossed that it will sell as well. I’ve put a ton of work into it and I’d love for someone to appreciate that work and use it for a very special little (or big!) girl.

Crosshatch quilting done! Now onto marking and quilting the border.

With that, I’m signing off for 2013 and getting ready to hit MAGFest for the next 4 days and auction my quilt off. Hello, 2014!

carlaHello 2014!
Link Pixel Quilt

Finished: Link Pixel Quilt

carla Charity, Finished in 2013, Finished Projects, Quilting 3 Comments

I’m thrilled to show off my latest finish – the Link Pixel Quilt.

Link pixel quilt

If you’ve been following along, you’ll know that this quilt has been created to be auctioned off at MAGFest to support Child’s Play. I’ve charted my progress in several previous posts.

The quilt is roughly queen size, with each pixel finishing at 2.5″ square. There are 1,470 squares total.

The quilting is diagonal from bottom left to top right, to highlight the angle of the sword. I chose a light gray Aurifil thread in 50wt to do the quilting. It blends in over the figure and shows up on the background – I really like the effect.

On the back is my first go at fusible appliqué and equilateral triangles.

Link pixel quilt

The label includes the MAGFest + Child’s Play logo, the name, date, and care instructions.

Link pixel quilt

I can’t wait to see it go up for auction. I have my fingers crossed for a high price so we can do the most good. It’s for the kids, man. :) (Special thanks to my building manager and leasing assistant for helping hold the quilt for some of these photos!)

Below are some more detail shots, and an obligatory bed shot.

Link pixel quilt

Link pixel quilt

Link pixel quilt


Quilt Stats
name: Link Pixel Quilt
size: queen size, 87.5″ x 105″
pattern: based off google image searches for Link.
fabrics: various Kona solids
techniques: fusible applique, equilateral triangles, machine binding
quilting: s
traight line diagonal in 2605 Aurifil 50 wt.
total construction time: approximately 5 weeks.
machine: Janome 8900

carlaFinished: Link Pixel Quilt

WIP Wednesday

carla Charity, Fabric, Quilting 2 Comments

As I mentioned, I was in Michigan for the long weekend so not a lot of sewing got done, however I did get my design chosen and submitted for a secret project. Keeping my fingers crossed – I’m so excited!

I ended up doing my binding a little bit backwards on the Link quilt. Usually if I know I’m going to machine bind the quilt I attach to the back and topstitch down from the front  so any wonkyness is hidden in the back. Unfortunately I had a crazy idea that I would have time to hand bind the quilt so I attached to the front instead. That isn’t going to happen, so I had to topstitch down on the back meaning the bobbin thread is on the top of the quilt. Most of it is at or near the ditch so I think it will be OK, but it isn’t perfect and I’m kind of kicking myself for doing it this way.

I did try the Red Pepper Quilts method where you pin or clip the binding to the back and stitch in the ditch from the front but I couldn’t get it to catch the back of the binding consistently so I had to rip it all out.  Any advice on making that work is appreciated. I use 2.5″ double-fold binding and it seems like it either way too much on when folded over or not enough (more commonly not enough). I know it has everything to do with seam allowance when attaching the binding – I just haven’t hit that sweet spot yet.

In any case I just need to sew the label and then give it a wash and a photoshoot.

Label for Link Pixel Quilt

I did get some fun mail last night – the fabric my friend Jen bought in Japan has finally arrived! There are some neat prints of fairy tale characters with German text. I’m excited by the possibilities. These are definitely on the more cutesy side of Japanese fabrics but I’m sure they will get put to good use.

Japanese Fabrics

Here’s my list this time around.

  1. Design and yardage requirements for a special, secret project (12/15)
  2. Link charity quilt for MAGFest auction to support Child’s Play – 12/31 (in progress needs a label, a wash, and a photoshoot)
  3. Gallery quilt (Briar Rose Giant Star?) – 1/15
  4. Mend HST Journey and wash to submit to Gallery – 1/15
  5. Wedding quilt – 2/28 (This is very late, but no real deadline – I am anxious to cut into my nani iro though!)
  6. Wedding quilt – 6/14
  7. “Green quilt” for me  – no deadline (began cutting – 60/512 print pairs cut, need to decide on a solid)

Linking up to WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced!

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

carlaWIP Wednesday