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


happy flower qal - week 3

I dug a little deeper into my stash this week.  I'm liking these ...

If you look closely at the original block, she used the same fabric for each pair of geese, but used 2 different prints for the sky for each pair.  I thought that was pretty cool, so I did the same.  But I messed up on the orientation.  Oh well.  I don't think it matters.

Original Block #5

And we have our first little bit of embroidery for this one.  Just a simple outline and fill.  But this piece would be easy enough to applique with fabric instead, or even just skip it altogether.

I lined my light green leaves with Presto-Sheer to block the strawberries from showing through.  Worked great.

Original Block #6


happy flower qal - week 2

Alright!  How is everyone doing? 

Having fun? 

Getting inspired? 

I'll take that as a yes! LOL!

Here are my blocks for this week, using mostly Lecien's latest Old/New 30s collection, with a few prints from last year's line for good measure.

Original Block #3

Original Block #4

I might redo this one ... a bit too much "roundy" going on here.  But I just love that cherry cameo print!


happy flower qal - week 1

Ok everyone, here we go!!!  FINALLY, right?  Feels like we've been talking and waiting and anticipating for months.  Probably because we were.  tee hee

So let's just jump right in.

As I mentioned before, Atsuko Matsuyama designs fabric for Lecien and she came out with a new Old/New 30s collection specially for the publication of the English version of her book, including a cheater panel that replicates some of the blocks in the quilt.


  Original Block #1

 Her fabric designs are feedsack-inspired, as the name of her collection reflects, so there are lots of very bright colours.  I made these first two blocks with this new collection, which is in stores this month.


Original Block #2

First I made this one (quite a while ago ...)

But then I made this one when I recieved the new Lecien fabric. Now I can't decide which one I like best.  Kinda loving the hot pink flower above, but also kinda loving the blue greenery below.  Thoughts?

If you're posting on Instagram, remember to #happyflowerqal so we can all admire your lovely blocks too! As I hinted before, there will be some giveaways throughout this QAL and I believe winners will be chosen from all the posts that are hashtagged with "happyflowerqal".  Just sayin'. ;)

xo k


Happy Flower Quilt-A-Long ~ Details

I meant to write this post sooner, but ... never mind ... it's a long "but".  Suffice it to say, here it is.  I'm just going to ramble a bit here, mentioning all the things that come to mind that I think you might want/need to know, if you're thinking about - or have already decided to - join me and my cohosts, Melissa from OhHowSweet and Wynn from ZakkaArt, two very talented and lovely ladies that I'm lucky enough to call friends.


This QAL is for the pink quilt on the cover of the book, not the other projects in the book.  Altough between you me, I really think you'll want to make some of the other projects, if you haven't already. ;)


There are only two, but they're VERY important.

#1 - Please own your own copy of Happy Flower Quilts, or borrow it from the library.  As an author myself, I understand how much work goes into writing a book.  I have a great deal of respect for Atsuko Matsuyama - the incredible fabric and pattern designer who wrote this book - her time, her talent, and the publishers who work so hard to bring her creations into your hands.  I also know that this book is well worth the cover price.  There are so many wonderful patterns - the quilt blocks themselves are worth it, but you also get 29 more project patterns and tons of inspiration.

#2 - Please refrain from pubishing - online or elsewhere - any information that would allow someone to construct any part of this quilt without the book.  More specifically, please don't publish cutting instructions or templates.  Please DO write about tips or tricks you might like to share with your readers about how to construct the blocks, like how you do inset seams, or what kind of thread you like to use, or how you make your own templates, how to embroider certain stitches, etc.  There are so many things you can share with your social media audience without violating copyright laws.

If you participated in the Farmers Wife QAL a few years ago, you may recall that the author was frustrated with people blogging detailed posts about what size to cut each piece and how many pieces for every block.  And rightly so.  That's just not cool.  I hope we will all respect copyright laws and respect Atsuko's work.

Thank you so very much for your cooperation.  It is deeply appreciated.


We officially start Monday, March 6th.  We will post two blocks/week until all 99 blocks are finished - so we'll be done February 2018.  That might sound scary and intimidating, but we're in this together.  Slow and steady, and all that jazz.

I'm going to make the blocks in order as they appear in the quilt, starting with the top left corner.  Every week I'll have one pieced and one applique block.  But you do whatever you want, whenever you want!  It's is completely up to you.  Start late, finish early ... do what works for YOU.  There are no penalties for not keeping up or doing your own thing.  This is totally casual!  The point of a QAL is to motivate, inspire, teach, and hopefully entertain.  Rumor has it that there may be giveaways throughout the QAL, and winners might be chosen from hashtags. ;)

Speaking of hashtags, please use #happyflowerqal for all your posts!  We'd love to see your blocks.  Feel free to include info on your fabric choices too.  We're always interested in that sort of thing. ;)

My cohosts and I PLAN to post every Monday.  I emphasize PLAN because I'm sure there will be weeks when one or more of us aren't able to post for one reason or another.  If you're posting your progress, join us on Mondays or feel free to set your own schedule.


As much as I would like to be "tech support" for this project, I have a full-time job.  Add to that my family and home, and ... other things ... I simply don't have time to answer questions and offer help.  So ZakkaWorkshop - the publisher of this book - set up a Facebook Page (click HERE) for QALers to post, share, ask, answer, learn, chat, connect, inspire ... all that really good stuff that comes with a QAL.  I'm super excited about it.  Make sure you join.  I'm hoping some of you expert quilters out there will lend a hand to the newbies.  So if you as me for help, the best I'll be able to do is direct you to the Facebook Page.  All questions posted there will be answered.  That said, I've written some things below that you might find helpful.


This quilt is make with 99 blocks - 50 pieced blocks, 34 applique blocks (a few also have a bit of embroidery details) and 16 squares that are simply a pretty fabric. 

Because this book is published with both imperial (inches) and metric (centimeters), it was impossible to include cutting dimensions for both measuring systems for all the blocks, even the super easy ones.  That's why all the pieced blocks are made with templates.  Most of them are very easy to construct, but there are a few with inset seams.

If you're not a huge fan of templates, you can sometimes get away with measuring the templates and then cutting the fabric without them - but this only works for really super basic shapes.

Now don't panic.  I have a few ideas if you don't enjoy applique, or embroidery, or complicated piecing. 

To avoid applique, make 2 of each pieced block.  Or make 50 pieced blocks and 49 simple blocks with a feature fabric.

To avoid embroidery, most can be relpaced with thin applique pieces or use a pretty trim like a thin ricrac (for stems and vines), or buttons (bird eyes), or simply omit the stitching altogether.

To avoid complicated piecing (there are only a few blocks with inset seams), replace those blocks with duplicates of your favourites, or again use a simple square of a fabulous print.

You could also just do half the blocks and make a smaller quilt, or just make a few blocks and turn them into a table runner, a cushion cover, a mini quilt ... we are a really creative community so we can turn just about anything into just about anything else!  LOL!  We're awesome "problem solvers", aren't we?


There are soooo many methods to hand applique.  By machine is definitely the easiest and quickest.  I machine applique more often than I hand applique, but for this project, my preferred way is how I was taught when I took a Baltimore Album class in 1999 - freezer-paper ironed and pinned to the fabric, and then I needle turn the edges.

I only mention that in case you were wondering.  But I have friends who hate this method and use other techniques quite successfully with beautiful results.  If you're new to applique, check with your local quilt shop to see if they're offering a class, I'm sure you can find videos online to help you along.

Also, when I applique a lighter piece of fabric onto a darker/printed fabric, I line the fabric that is being appliqued with Presto-Sheer.  It's a super thin, fusible interfacing that either eliminates, or greatly reduces, any "shadowing" from coming through.  You can find it on-line if your local quilt/fabric shop doesn't carry it.

I use Jeana Kimball's Foxglove Cottage "Straw" needles for my applique. 

I use silk thread for my applique.  I mostly use a cream and pink because that's what I have.  But I recently bought a red and darker grey for this quilt.


I'm pretty sure there are only 3 types of stitches in the entire quilt - back stitch, outline stitch, and a french (or colonial) knot.  That's it - the 3 most basic and beginner stitches there are.  And you don't need many colours either.  The embroidery is mostly for stems and leaf details.  There are a few knots for bird eyes and flower centers.  There's really not much at all.  I think you can get away with a pink, a yellow, and a few greens.  Maybe a blue.  (Unless you're going for a non-conventional colour scheme.)

I use Jeana Kimball's Embroidery/Redwork needles and COSMO floss for embroidery.


See previous blog post.

In case you didn't know, Atsuko designs fabric for two companies - Lecien and Yuwa.  Her collections for Lecien are called Old/New 30s, and her designs for Yuwa are called 30s Collection by Atsuko Matsuyama.  I was actually quite surprised when I rounded up all my Atsuko prints from my stash.  I have a LOT!  LOL!  If you are new to her fabrics and you like them, her latest collection for Lecien will be in stores this month.  I'm going to make my first few blocks with that new fabric for you to see, and then I'll be diving deep into my stash.  Can.hardly.wait!!!

Ok.  Hope that helps!  I really hope you join Wynn, Melissa and me on this year-long journey.  We're going to have beautiful heirloom quilts at the end!

xo k


Happy Flower Quilts ~ My Fabric Pull

The Happy Flower QAL starts on Monday!  Are you ready?  Are you as excited as I am?  Please feel free to grab this banner for your blog if you like. :)

I've had some requests to share the fabrics I'll be using.  I meant to show these sooner (sorry).

So here's a quick tour of the fabrics I've pulled from my stash for the QAL.  I'm sure I'll be adding to these throughout the year 'cause new stuff is always coming out that I simply can't resist. ;)

The original quilt doesn't have much - if any - purples, oranges, and browns (or blacks).  Not sure if I'll be adding some to mine or not.  We'll see. 

It looks to me like Atsuko used either mostly original or reproduction feedsacks used for her quilt.  And wow are they ever bright!!!  That must be why I love it.  And why it's so happy.  I'm more or less taking my fabric choice cues for colour/print/scales from each block, as best I can.


enchanted blog hop ~ and a giveaway!

Enchanted!  It's the new fabric line by Dodi Poulson of Sashgal for Riley Blake Designs.  Dodi kindly invited me to be part of her blog hop and when I saw that squirrel print, I simply had to say yes!  Super cute, no?

When I don't have a lot of time to sew, but I want to feature a fabulous print, I go straight to a tried and true favourite pattern - in this case I used a stand-by bag pattern by Tilda from her Sew Pretty HomeStyle book.  This pattern never lets me down and it shows off this most adorable squirrel print perfectly.

This collection is full of cute, fun prints in sweet and interesting colour combinations.  That navy ... wish I'd had more time to play with them. 

To enter Dodi's giveaway for a chance to win a bundle of Enchanted fabric, please visit Dodi’s blog, Loose Threads ( and leave her a comment.  One entry per blog post, per day of the Blog Tour, there on Loose Threads.  Enter every day to increase your chance of winning!!!

Good luck to you, dear reader, and congratulations Dodi for a lovely, enchanted fabric collection. xo k