The Lilly Quilt

Well it seems like it’s just been forever since I blogged. But even though my fingers weren’t moving across the keyboard, I have been busy! This summer was consumed with the Lilly quilt project.


I decided to make a quilt for my bestie for Christmas and the trek to make that happen started in June (yes, June!) when I found the inspiration fabric.

Well, it had to be Lilly Pulitzer fabric because she loves her some Lilly. It wasn’t easy to acquire enough with pattern variety and the right colors, but after much searching I was able to piece together what I was looking for from the We Love Lilly shop on Etsy. So an unmentionable amount later, I had my fabric and now I needed my design.

Lilly fabric is bold and large print and I wanted a quilt design that would feature the fabric. I was fortunate to stumble upon Spanish Tiles by Heather Mulder Peterson from her Living Large 2 book which features all large print fabric quilting patterns. As soon as I saw it, I knew it was the one! I loved her story of how she was inspired by the Alhambra – I love that place and think this pattern really echoes the beauty of the palace. So I set to work cutting my fabric. Lilly fabrics

I paired the fabric with a bright green accent – the lady who cut my fabric said, “Wow, that’s a bold choice” when I laid it on the cutting board and asked for 3 1/2 yards. In my head I was thinking, you should see what it’s getting paired with!

The assembly was pretty straightforward, though I did feel as if I was working on little bits forever and not seeing any progress. Steps one and two in the pattern call for assembly of strip units which will be cut into sections and used to assemble the sashing. One thing I needed here was a recommendation on how to cut the strip units since there are two different section sizes. If you cut the strip unit in all one section size, you end up with quiet a bit of waste. With a bit of math I came up with my cutting pattern to maximize the strip units. Of course this left me with two spare strip units. If you are making this quilt in the smaller size, I don’t think you would have this much waste, but the scale is different when you make the queen size version.

The second area where I stumbled was the assembly of these little sections. I thought I was following the directions for the triangle orientation, but found if I turned it I got better finished results.

Triangle direction matters!Once all the sashing pieces were finally assembled, the quilt started to come together quickly. The Lilly Quilt

And then I couldn’t leave well enough alone on the backing, I just had to add a giant monogram. It was a lot of pink polka dots without the monogram in place. And this quilt really called out for a monogram.Lilly Quilt Monogram

After a furious night of hand appliquéing (and thanks to a lot of hand sewing help from my Mom!) I was able to get the back wrapped up in time to drop it with the quilter on the first weekend in October.

Angela McCorkle of Quilts with a Heart provided the expert quilting help. She did an amazing job of outlining features in the fabrics to really highlight the ‘Lilly’ of the quilt. I highly recommend working with Angela!

Lilly Quilt QuiltingAll that was left was add on the green binding and get it shipped off to Virginia. I was so down to the wire that I didn’t even get to take a picture of the quilt with the binding before it went out the door! But it arrived just in time on Christmas eve and was happily opened on Christmas day by a very excited recipient.





Doggie Sleep Sack

Oscar Party has meant tons of trips to the local Jo-Ann’s. I’m cool with this because there is a brand new Jo-Ann’s right next to my house, OP just gave me an excuse to explore it.

It’s amazing how many things can jump into your cart when you are looking for things on your shopping list. One of those items was some beautiful new Waverly fabric – Panama Wave in Adobe. The colors are perfect for my house and I have been in the market for some fabric to create some new poufy dog beds. And it was on SALE. And I had a COUPON. There’s really no reason not to get it 🙂

But time was short and I was really supposed to be working on all things Oscar Party so I decided to make a sleep sack/dog cave/sleeping bag rather than a dog bed. Doesn’t my baby look adorable in it?!Doggie Sleep Sack

I took some very exact measurements by draping a tape measure over my dogs while they were sleeping on their current collection of blankets. Doggie Sleep SackThey were not amused at me disturbing their slumber. I came up with a size of 20″x24″for my finished dimensions. For reference, my dachshunds are 12 – 14 pounds each.

I paired the panama wave with a brown soft and cuddly fabric that is a giant pain-in-the-butt to work with but oh so comfy to sleep in. Because that brown fabric is such a pain-in-the-butt, I went with half inch seams to hopefully cover any sins.

I cut two exterior pieces from the panama wave and two interior pieces from the brown fabric, all 21″x25″. Doggie Sleep SackI wanted my sleep sack to have a flap style opening to hopefully make it easier for the girls to sneak in there. I decided the flap opening should be 4 inches. I then pinned the right side of the exterior fabric to the right side of the interior fabric on the narrow end and pinned down the sides 4.5″. Doggie Sleep SackStitch, using a half inch seam, from pin to pin. Clip corners and turn right side out. Repeat on the second set of exterior and interior panels.

Then, take the two pieces and pin them right sides together. Yes, it will be difficult to deal with the flap area that you have already sewn.  Do your best to tuck in the completed corners.

Doggie Sleep SackSew around the piece leaving a 4 inch opening for turning in the center bottom of the interior fabric. Clip corners and turn. Hand stitch closed the opening in the interior fabric. You may also need to add a few corrective stitches where the piece transitions to the flap opening.

To complete the sleep sack, edge stitch around the opening. Insert snuggly dog. Enjoy.Doggie Sleep Sack–Martta

Oscar Party Decorations: Red Curtains for the TV

The first year I hosted my Oscar Party, I grabbed a length of red fabric, draped it over a curtain rod hidden in my TV cabinet and had the most fabulous red curtains on my TV for my party. Oscar Party TV Curtains

It was so effortless, so easy – no sewing – and what a fun impact. The TV immediately looked more dramatic.

Fast forward and these dang curtains have become one of my Oscar Party banes. I have spent forever fussing and futzing trying to get them to hang just right. So this year I declared, no more screwing around! (I declare that a lot, it usually doesn’t mean anything) I’m going to actually sew a  curtain that I can just drape on there and not have to worry about.

First of all, yes, I have a TV cabinet. I like to roll 1996 style in my house. Get over it. It’s beautiful, it’s solid wood and one day, when a 42″ television just isn’t enough anymore (remember when we were little and we thought we were cool if our TVs were 20 inches even though they weighed about 300 pounds?), I’ll convert it into a fab wardrobe by just adding a proper curtain rod. Until that time. I have a TV cabinet.

Now, if you’re a cool kid and your house is decorated all 2013-style and your TV just hangs on the wall you can make curtains for your TV too. All you need to do is install a curtain rod or depending on the size of your TV, just hang those curtains from the ceiling!

So I don’t have a proper pattern for these curtains, just a method. In reality, it’s all going to be done to your taste, so you’ll have to futz with it a bit when you’re planning it out so it will be perfect for your party.

Ok, here goes. The curtain is made in three parts: There are two equal length panels and one center swag.

To create the panels, measure from your curtain rod to the floor and add 8″-12″ depending on your puddling preference. Cut the two panels to length, keeping the width at just the width of your fabric (or narrower if you don’t want as much bulk). Hem three sides of your panels (->Lazy option, just hem the two long sides and fold the bottom under your puddled fabric….this has worked for me for years, but you feel free to hem if you are classier than I am).

Now for the swag. Measure the width of your curtain rod – this will be your top measurement. Add 6-24″ to the top measurement – this will be your bottom measurement.  For the math nerds out there, we’re creating a trapezoid for the swag. The addition to the bottom measurement depends on how deep and drape-y you want the swag so play with it to figure out it. For those with super large TVs, you may want to break this up and create multiple swags to cover the width of the screen – it’s up to you. Again, I’m keeping the height of the trapezoid at the width of the fabric – decrease the height for less drape.

Gather the top of each of the panels and the slanted sides of the swag.

Now, think about how you want to connect the panels and the swags because they are about to become fixed to each other. Do you want the panels touching?  Do you want some space in the middle? Figure it out then lay the panels right side down. The panels should be placed such that measuring from outer edge to outer edge of the panels is the width of your curtain rod.

Lay the swag right side down on top of the panels (The right side of the swag will lay on the wrong side of the panel). Pin the sides and top of the swag to the top of the gathered panels. It will be a mess of fabric, just do your best – this isn’t intended to be super accurate sewing here. Sew across the top of the panels,

Excellent! Now you have a panel swag-y thing. Drape the swag over your curtain rod, tucking all the yucky edges underneath and you’re almost done!

Now, since I have a TV cabinet (you’re jealous now, right?) I take a little piece of wire and thread it through the hinge on the door and then use that to hang a curtain tie back – in gold cording of course. But if you’re just workin’ with the wall, I think a few strategically placed Command adhesive hooks could work for you.

Tieback the curtains, futz, drape, swag, adjust and voilà!  Instant party presence.

I hope your TV curtains turn out just as spectacular!