sea breeze mini QAL: meet my mini!

Hello all! Welcome to the halfway point of the Sea Breeze Mini Quilt-A-Long! Have you been keeping up with all the amazing contributors so far? It’s been quite a week! A big BIG thank you to Angie for being such a phenomenal host (and her incredibly kind words in my introduction on her blog!)  :)

This is my first QAL, and I have to say that I was a little nervous about joining in with such a talented group of quilters. But if I’ve learned anything, it’s that the quilting community is incredibly supportive and welcoming! And so with that, I was ready to jump in!

As usual, I gave myself some parameters to work with…

  1. I have to use fabrics from my stash.
  2. follow the pattern.
  3. break the pattern.

First, it was time to pick fabrics. Originally I was leaning towards prints, but ended up going for solids. What can I say? Old habits die hard! I decided on these awesome neon solids from Riley Blake. Aren’t they so fun?

Sea Breeze Mini QAL

Once I had my main fabrics picked, it was time to start playing with possible color arrangements. I planned on adding black or white for my background color but kept it open as I started to try things…  I made a quick mock-up in Adobe Illustrator and got to coloring! My only rule was I had to leave the block placement as it was in the original pattern. I went through quite a few ideas. Some kept closer to the original look, others went pretty far out there… I almost always try layouts out in Illustrator first, unless I’m doing improv. Just to give you an idea, here are some of the options I came up with.

Sea Breeze Mini QAL

It was fun exploring all the different ways you can break up the pattern. As usual, I used my family and friends as a mini focus group. And as usual, they all had a different favorite. I took cues from the ones they liked and came up with this layout. I love how the black and white balance out the neons, and it still really highlights the pattern. It’s simple and graphic, right up my alley!

Sea Breeze Mini QAL

This was my first time with half square triangles (HSTs), and I can see why they’re so popular. They’re incredibly versatile, and it’s a great way to get a number of blocks done quickly. If you haven’t tried them, you should give it a shot! This pattern has you make them in the traditional method, but there are a number of tutorials on how to create as many as 8 or even 18 HSTs at a time!

Sea Breeze Mini QAL

I chain pieced all of my HSTs, fast and easy. Then it was time to iron and trim. It’s been so hot in Los Angeles, I was grateful that I only had a mini’s worth of pieces to press!

Sea Breeze Mini QAL

I used my standard square ruler to trim the HSTs. It worked fairly well, but I can definitely see the appeal of the bloc loc. If you’re new to HSTs and a little worried about squaring them up, a helpful trick is to make your starting squares slightly larger than is called for. This will give you a little more wiggle room to get your seams perfectly lined up on the diagonal when you trim.

Sea Breeze Mini QAL

Such happy little scraps!

Sewing the quilt top was fairly quick. I had a few issues with things lining up, and I did have to rip out a few seams and try again. They’re not all perfect but I’m happy with the final result.

Sea Breeze Mini QAL

So here it is, my finished quilt top… Now I just have to quilt and bind this little bugger! Hmmm, what to do, what to do!

I’ll be sharing my finished quilt on August 2nd. Keep an eye on Instagram for some sneaky peeks until then. Be sure to hop over to Gnome Angel to learn more about all of the participants and see their fantastic takes on this great little quilt. There’s also still plenty of time to get in on the fun and make your own Sea Breeze Mini! Angie’s site has all the info you need to get started. The incredibly talented Ms Midge is hosting a progress link party here, go check it out! And if you’re participating, be sure to link up your progress so everyone can see what you’ve been up to :)



Have a fantastic weekend!


summer kid’s clothes week, eek!

kcw summer 2014

Summer Kid’s Clothes Week starts tomorrow, and I am completely unprepared! I’ve been so preoccupied with the Sea Breeze Mini Quilt-A-Long (which also starts tomorrow) that I haven’t really planned anything!

I’ve been thinking about a few things I’d like to make, and I’m going to give it my best to make up for my lack of planning ;)

This time around, the inspiration is “kid art.” I predict we’re going to see lots of fun prints and playful designs. I have a few prints in my stash that might have to come out and play for this.

I’ll be sharing snippets and peeks along the way on Instagram and all of my finished projects right here.

So, who’s in? What do you have planned for KCW?


my first aztec hooded vest

Seeing as Summer Kid’s Clothes Week is next week (eek!), I figured it was time to share my last project from Spring KCW!

Here’s my take on the fantastic Aztec Hooded Vest from See Kate Sew.


I held off on sharing during the actual week because I wanted to keep at least one thing I made a surprise for the recipient (well, his mom). And then, of course, I completely forgot about it! So I’m sharing it with you now… Better late than never, right?

The pattern is available from See Kate Sew here. The instructions were clear and easy to follow and it came together fairly quickly. I used a super soft navy sweatshirt fleece for the outside, and the inside is another favorite print from Jay McCarroll. I’m loving the combination of navy and mustard.


Pretty fun, isn’t it? And yes, it’s completely reversible!


As suggested, I added some topstitching to the outside to give it a bit of a quilted look. It’s subtle, but a very nice detail. And the open welt pockets are a fun addition. I love that the lining fabric just barely peeks out.


And what about that oversized hood? Too cute!


I think my biggest struggle was finding the right reversible zipper… Until I realized how easy it was to make my own! This was a bit of a “duh” moment for me. I’ve altered plenty of plastic zippers, but the thought of doing this to a metal zipper never crossed my mind.


It’s totally doable, and really not that hard! Here’s a great tutorial if you want to give it a try.


I bought a metal reversible separating zipper from Jo-Ann Fabric to start with. This one has a double-tab zipper pull (above left), which means that each side has its own pull. I wasn’t crazy about how it looked so I ordered a replacement pull like this (above right). I also picked up a few extra top stops (those things that keep your zipper from coming off the ends). These are good to have if you’re planning on shortening zippers. You can sometimes reuse the originals but they’re nice to have just in case one breaks. And keep in mind, if you’re ordering replacement pieces, make sure you order the correct size!


Over all, I’m very happy with how this turned out. I’ve already got a few more planned in my head… And is it weird that I want one in my size too?

Have a wonderful weekend!


sea breeze mini quilt-a-long

I’m super excited to be part of the upcoming Sea Breeze Mini Quilt-A-Long, hosted by the lovely and talented Angie of Gnome Angel!SeaBreezeMQAL This will be my first quilt-a-long (aka QAL) and I’m looking forward to seeing what everyone does! Angie has put together a great group of bloggers and instagrammers to share their process, as well as tips and motivation over the two week period (7/21 to 8/2). I’ll be posting my progress on July 26th and revealing my finished mini on August 2nd. I can’t wait!

There’s still plenty of time to get in on the fun! The pattern is from Canoe Ridge Creations, available here. And you can read more about the quilt-a-long here. Angie has started a Facebook group for participants and will be posting a link party where you can link to your final quilt on either your blog or via Instagram. (Not sure what a link party is? Read about them here.)

Keep an eye on Angie’s blog in the coming weeks for more info. I’ll be sharing sneak peeks of my quilt via Instagram, and you can search #seabreezemqal to see what everyone is up to. So come and join us! Whether you make your own or just follow along, it’s sure to be a good time!