first romance ~ green

Fresh cut grass, a crisp salad, a fragrant herb garden, sunshine after summer rain ... these are some of the things this green evokes for me.

When I started my 1/2" hexie quilt, I had no idea that 4 years later I'd  ... well, still be working on it for one thing ... but more importantly, that I'd have the incredible fun of including my own fabric designs in it.  In fact, the small scale of my hexies had a strong influence on the scale of my prints.  I literally tested every single design in a 1/2" scale, just to make sure I could use them. And the print I used above is definitely one of my favourites.  It just looks so fun, like someone tossed a huge armful of stemmed flowers into the air.  It's just so ... happy, don't you think? :)

I'll be back tomorrow with something patriotic for Canada Day (and no, it won't be donuts ... or Justin Bieber) LOL!


first romance ~ yellow

Here's the second colour grouping from "First Romance".  I don't typically use a ton of yellow, but I adore it for accents. And I'm learning to appreciate how it can really enhance a quilt.  It really is a happy colour. :) 

And this was the first diamond I made for my 1/2" hexagon quilt using First Romance.  Oooh ... the small scale of First Romance is just so perfect for little piecing!


first romance ~ aqua

I know my fabric won't be in stores until October/November, but I just can't not share it with you. :)

I'll be featuring each color group over the next little bit to get you inspired.

Now. Although you know how much I love pink, this aqua runs a very close second for me so there are 9 aqua prints in First Romance and I heart

I made this little clasp purse in less than a few hours ... the must frustrating part was getting my glue bottle unclogged.  As soon as it was finished, I showed it to my daughter because I was all proud of it and I thought for sure she'd agree with me about how pretty it is. But she looked up at me and asked, "What are you supposed to use it for?"


She's 14.  She doesn't yet understand that - for me - it is (almost) always about the making, not the having, that is the point.

That said, I told her that it can be used as a very practical little home for coins/money, keys, ear buds, library card, fitness pass, hair elastics and bobby pins, meds, "girl stuff", bandaids, a fancy envelope for a gift card present ... and that's just for starters. If we want to continue on with sewing notion, I'll be typing forever.

By the way, I got the clasp & pattern kit from Zakka Workshop. They have plenty more styles available too! I love them.


happy flower qal week 17

This was such a fun block!  Don't know why, exactly. I loved finding that text print by Lori Holt in my stash. :)  And there aren't a lot (if any?) solids in the original quilt.  But the colour worked so I just went with it.

Full disclosure - I made this block back in February-ish when I was dreaming of spring and pretty purple crocuses, so I deviated quite a bit with these colours. Aren't those curly vines the cutest? They were fun to stitch up. :)


pink, aqua, yellow ~ an encore

I know, I know.  I made a very similar round pencil case last year. But here's the thing ... first of all, I gave it away. And second of all, I really wanted to remake it with First Romance!

I'm DEFINITELY keeping this one for myself.  Hopefully.  Maybe.  ;)


happy flower qal week 16

I love postage stamp blocks. This block makes me want to make an entire quilt with 1" squares. LOL!

And we have another ricrac stemmed block, which I just embroidered. Sometimes I second guess my approach to these blocks by choosing very similar prints and colours as the originals. But I admit that the "not having to think" part of copying sure makes the fabric pull and decision making faster.





made for baby ~ made for me

I love being asked by a talented, unmet, online friend to help share their inspiring work with you.  I really really do. :)

The lovely Ayda Algin of Cafenohut sent me her book a little while ago and I found a few hours to enjoy it and make something.  The book is called "Made for Baby" and is just the sweetest collection of projects for little ones.  Even though that part of my life is past (until I maybe have grandchildren someday ... hard to imagine with teenagers at the moment LOL!) I saw something that I wanted to make for myself - that I could use in my sewing room as organized storage for pretty notions.

These tiny fabric boxes are about 3" and they look so cute all nestled in their custom tray. I made this entire set in a few hours, using my "First Romance fabric (available thru Moda in October).  I can see it perched in a nursery with supplies, and then graduating to a toy room to hold smaller objects (anyone remember Polly Pockets?)

Thank you for the book, Ayda! It's beautiful and inspiring. xo k


happy flower qal week 15

Well it seems I have a problem.

I've been wanting to make this quilt for soooo long, and have built it up in my mind so much that I'm constantly rethinking my fabric choices for these blocks. Seeing so many lovely blocks on Instagram isn't helping either.  I feel like mine never turn out as pretty as everyone else!

Like so many weeks past, (I haven't even shown all the remakes because it's that ridiculous!) I remade another block this week.

This one is ... "ok", but it seemed a bit to ... I dunno, not scrappy enough? I love all the fabrics ... they're really pretty.  And they look good together too.  It's just kinda .... meh.

I'm SO much happier with this one!!! :)

For both of the above blocks, I finally broke down and added some fabric from my debut Moda collection (the aquas, yellows, bottom greens, lower red, and middle pink).  It's called "First Romance".  I love it so much - bright colours, small scale, dainty florals ... :)

THIS block, however, turned out perfectly the first time!  Yay!

And I finally decided on a sashing fabric ... ;) ... it's also from "First Romance". Please don't be too annoyed with me for showing it to you now, even though it won't be in shops until October. I just thought you might like to see it in case you're searching for a sashing fabric too.

In case you missed it on Instagram a few days ago, here's a pic of most - but not all - of my blocks together. This makes me soooo happy. :)


happy flower qal week 14

Whoa. Who else can't believe it's June already?

So.  If you're quilting along with Wynn, Melissa, and me, how's it going?  Are you enjoying all the block-making? Don't worry if you haven't "kept up".  That's not the point of this project. We're here to inspire, cheer, entertain, coach, keep you company ... We creative people don't always have the wherewithall - for one reason or another - and that's totally ok.  Life is never a straight line and neither is the process of making.  So whether you're nearly done this quilt or you haven't even pulled your fabric for the first block, this quilt is waiting for you to make whenever you are available. :)

In the meantime, I hope you're enjoying all the posts - have you been following us on IG at #happyflowerqal? There is a growing number of beautiful blocks that are soooo fun to look at and are very inspiring!

So here are my blocks for this week.

What is it about any block set on point that just takes it to another level?  Especially these simple 4-patches.  Gosh they're cute!

 These cherries ... I'm particularly happy with the yellow background.  Makes the cherries seem like they're ripening in the sun. The stems in the original block are made with ricrac. It adds a super charming detail, like it had been salvaged from an old pillowcase or a little girl's dress and retrieved from a sewing basket or a tin of rescued notions. But I didn't have any in my sewing room, and I didn't feel like sourcing some out and buying it so I just embroidered mine.

Thanks for stopping by. Hope you have a great week!


happy flower qal week 13

This week's original block has a super large - and very dark - green plaid.  I did my best to find something similar in my stash.  Not nearly as large and not nearly as dark.  And I'm super ok with that!  LOL! (And yes my yellow/blue triangles are reversed ... by accident, not on purpose ... but I don't think it matters in the least.)

Original Block # 25

I think this little love bird is one of my favourite applique blocks in the quilt.  Simple, sweet, and charming.  In case you didn't know, Lecien has a cheater panel with blocks from this quilt.  I literally cut this birdie out of the cheater block and appliqued it onto my background. And that thin Tilda stripe ... home runs all around for that print!

Original Block #26


happy flower qal week 12

Gosh are these scrappy blocks ever fun!  Kinda like ad-lib cooking ... "a little bit of this, a pinch of that, a handful of this ...stir it all together and voila!"  Delicious eye candy :)

Original Block #23

Original Block #24


And we have another "freebie" this week - a single beautiful print to feature as a block all by itself.  This sweet hatbox by Atsuko Matsuyama is one of my very favourites.  I find it hard to use as patchwork, but this ... this is the perfect application!


happy flower qal week 11 - part deux

Like the seriously scattered donut I am these days, I totally forgot to finish adding all the photos for this week's qal.  Actually, I forgot more than that.

Here's the deal.  I made a bunch of blocks starting way back in February. Knowing that I'd be busy with my new fabric job and Quilt Market, I prepared blog posts through the end of May. At least I THOUGHT I did! Looks like I didn't quite finish.  And then my computer crashed.  And then ... well, life continued to happen.

So when I wrote this week's post, I wasn't 100% happy with either block and still planned to make another set.  That hasn't happened yet.  I'll try to get them done next week.

In the meantime, here are my other blocks.


happy flower qal - week 11

This week was ... charming (and not in a good way.)  I made each block THREE times! 

Original Block #21




Original Block #22

But I guess it is true that the third time is the charm. :)


happy flower qal - week 10

Yet another "make-it-do-even-though-I-have-enough-fabric" block.  My favourite so far.  Really loving it. 

Original Block #19

Silly little leaf.

Original Block #20

Because I made my Farmer's Wife quilt entirely out of Flower Sugar, I'm deliberately avoiding it this time.  Not because I don't still love it, but because I need something different.  The background fabric for this block, however, is an exception.  One of my all-time favourte prints in the history of forever.


happy flower qal - week 9

This week, the pieced block is a combination of piecing and applique.  I made the wheel first, added the "hub cap", and then appliqued it onto the background. (If you ask me if I'm bothered that my circles aren't perfectly round, I'll tell you "not in the least", but on the inside I'll be curled up in the fetal position, gently rocking myself in comfort as I weep silently.) 


Maybe. ;)

Original Block #17

To avoid that fabulously loud backgroud from showing through, I cut away the fabric in the middle after I finished appliqueing the wheel in place.

Pretty pink tulips.  My favourite! :)

Original Block #18


happy flower qal - week 8

Here's another obviously "made-wrong-on-purpose" block.  And I love it.  :)

Original Block #15

I wasn't thinking too clearly when I chose the fabrics for each petal.  I tried to copy the original, but the middle petal on each flower that is the same and pointing at each other? ... Yeah, that bugged me.  So I replaced one of them ...

Original Block #16

MUCH better!  I'm all good now.


happy flower qal - week 7

Loud and proud!  Definitely stretching myself here.  But I think it works and I like it, even the stripes that I didn't worry about orienting.  They just went where they went and that was that.

Original Block #13

This was also a little weird for me, to not have all the same - or even similar fabric for each petal.  But again, I think she'll be a happy flower in my Happy Flower Quilt. :)

Original Block #14


happy flower qal - week 6

Ok.  So, as I pay attention to the original quilt block fabric placements, some have a very "scrappy", "make-it-do" quality, which is just soooo attractive in a vintage quilt and what some quilters find so appealing.  But quilting has evolved from a genuine make-do necessity to what we mostly do today, which is ... you know ... NOT that! (Just ask my credit card.)

Whether Atsuko deliberately chose mismatched fabrics to make her blocks ultra scrappy, or whether she was using original feedsacks and genuinely had to exercise the whole make-do approach, I find myself wanting to copy her.  This makes me laugh.  I kinda almost feel like a fraud, deliberately throwing in weird, arbitrary prints when I have more than enough of any given print to make the block "properly". 

But I think it's fun.  It's actually more work for me to try to make something look both wrong AND good at the same time!  LOL!  Oh this is just so silly.  And I love it.

That said, the jury is out for me on this block.  It definitely looks "wrong", but I'm not convinced that it looks "good".  I'll keep an eye on it.  It might blend in well enough as the quilt grows.  In the meantime, I loved putting the little umbrella bird - courtesy of Miss PamKittyMorning - in the middle. :)

Original Block #11

A little more embroidery this week with a two-toned stem.  Again, easy enough to make it a thicker one with fabric, if embroidery isn't your thing.  I think I should have stitched the second row closer, so they are touching.  But I'm pretty sure I'm not going to fix it.  I'm calling this one DONE!

Original Block #12


happy flower qal - week 5

So.  If you're sewing along, you noticed that this block has a gentle inset seam.  If you don't want to give it a whirl, or you're not having much luck putting yours together, can I suggest making a simple 9-patch?  :)

I was really excited about how mine turned out, until I looked at it from a distance and then I realized the blue triangles sort of blend into the green. :(  All that work to show off a fun design and you can't even really see it.  Sigh.  Oh well.  I think I'm gonna leave this one as is.

Original Block #9

I liked stitching on a darker background for this one so the little lily-of-the-valley bells show.  Not my best applique job with the bell shapes.  But it's good enough for me.  But I might change that one leaf with the circle ... my eye goes straight to it!

Original Block #10


happy flower qal - week 4

I'm so inspired by all the blocks I see popping up on Instagram with the #happyflowerqal!  Remember, you can join in at any time. ;)

Original Block #7

First try - this one ... mmmmm, I didn't like how dark the blue middle looked and I found the pink corners too light. 


Second try - aaah, MUCH better!  (Those bunnies!!!)

This week's applique block is a "freebie".  You only had to pick one of your favourite prints!  I'm more or less following the colours in the original quilt, so this print was the closest I could find.  I think it works out pretty nicely.  But I'm giving myself the option to move/replace it when I'm ready for the big assembly.  So let's call it a placeholder for now, shall we?

Original Block #8