Friday, September 28, 2012

Minni Zigzag

Have you ever made a Minni Quilt?  My first one was for our kitten, MaoMao.  It was fun and quick.  Minni quilts are very versatile.   They make great doll quilts,  pet quilts, or even a table topper.  Minni quilts are also great for when you need a quick finish.

I am one of 'those' quilters/artists that start dozens of projects before finishing one.  I like to think of it like a butterfly going from one flower to the next.  Of course, others may call it something else.    I just accept it as part of my personality.  However, every once in a while, I feel the need to finish something.  A quick rush of success, if you will.  :)  Minni quilts are perfect for this!!
Back of quilt

I've had other checks on my Mommy list this week too.  One check was for MaoMao to get his last kitten shots and two was for my two little chicks (kids) to get their flu shots.  Nobody likes shots and MaoMao and Little Man comforted  each other this week.  My poor Little Ladybug had to still go to school, since they're serving pizza today she wasn't too sad.  :)

Poor MaoMao. After his shots, I guess he felt his leg needed elevating.

Cats are too funny.

My Little Men
 On a completely different subject...Have you ever seen Whooping Cranes?  They seem simple, grey creatures, but when they call out to each other, they sound so amazing.  My sister says that their call is what she imagines Dinosaurs sounded like!  I agree!

MaoMao watched the Whooping Cranes from our second floor window.  He was not pleased that Mama/I would not let him chase the big birds. :)
I hope you all have a great weekend!

Sharing @

Crazy Mom Quilts

Confessions of a Fabric Addict

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Memory Quilt II

First block - Grandma's shirt

Every once in awhile, we are blessed enough to meet individuals who inspire us, who gives us warmth and light, who help us find joy during our short stay here on earth.  Anne and Gordon Dayton were my Grandparents.  They were full of life, excitement, and a whole lot of love.

I have two of their shirts that I'm turning into a Memory Quilt.  I started blogging about it HERE.  My hope is that one day my children will read these stories of their great grandparents and perhaps find a little of themselves in Grandma and Grandpa.

Gordon first saw Anne at a skate rink.  He saw her leaving and he thought she was Beautiful!  He didn't know her name, but being the non-intimidated male that he was, he went after her anyway.  She didn't notice him or his frantic effort to get her attention.  Anne was cool and elegant, not a giddy little girl.  He just had to get her to turn around, but she was getting further and further from him.  His last hopeful attempt to get her to see him was to call out her name; however, he hadn't met her yet and therefore had no idea what her name was.  He started calling out names, any name he could think of "Judith!! Mary!!! Gerta!!"  What was he to do?  Louder, "Helen!!! Martha!!!"  And then....she turned around.  :)

Anne was just as smitten as Gordon and  it didn't take long before they said, "I DO"  and they did ... forever.
Anne.  Grandpa was a photographer.  This photo was black and white and he added the pink.  

Anne and Gordon were always on an adventure.

Everyone's sweethearts

They drove across the country on a motorcycle together!

Grandpa's shirt needs a little love and care before I cut it into squares. It's been well worn and loved.

Their shirts before I cut them.
More to come!

Until then, I hope your day is full of sweet memories of someone you love. Happy quilting! -Little Mama Hen

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Progress on Quilts for Mama

I'm having such fun getting these three quilts ready for Mama!  I absolutely love the  Greek Cross pattern.  I will do this pattern again!  (blogged more about it HERE)

The Greek cross was so very easy to put together.  I really like the dark marble colors.  I think Mr. G will really like it.  Now I just have to piece the back and get it quilted!
Greek Cross
Mrs. S likes bright colors and boy is this quilt going to POP colors!  I'm still piecing the front.  This Ohio Star pattern makes me want to try a Jacob's Ladder pattern.  :)
Ohio Star
 Mrs. P's  quilt is an X and O pattern.  This one is all done except for quilting.  I've started, but got a ways to go!

X and O 

Isn't he just so sweet!  of course, I never get my bed made.  ;)
I've got a few other quilts I'm working on too (that's an under statement!)  I need to finish Mama's for her birthday in October.  Then I've got Little Ladybugs, Little Man's, and Scott's that I need to finish for Christmas.  Then I've got two for friends expecting little ones (still deciding on fabric choice).  Let's see, then there's my Memory quilt and a half dozen or so others that I've started and never finished.  Ha!   I hope your week is full of some quilting fun too!

-Little Mama Hen.

Monday, September 10, 2012


I have my first commission!  My Mother has three very special friends that she wants me to make quilts for!!!  It's not just exciting that I'll be making quilts (that's plenty exciting for me) but that I am making them for her very special friends.

Mr. G, Ms. P, and Ms. S (I don't like using names without permission and the quilts are a surprise so I can't ask for permission) are three very important people to my Mother.  They all taught school together for several years and even though they don't work together any more, they still get together and 'Socialize' every so often.  'Socializing' for them is a lot of laughter, teasing, and sometimes a sip or two of wine (which makes them laugh and tease more!).  My Mother is ALWAYS simply radiant for DAYS after they get together.   I know her friends, but not well; however, anyone that makes my Mother so completely happy, I have a special place in my heart for. You see, I love Mama and anyone that loves her, I love too.  :)  that's how it works for me.

Mr. G does work for charities and I think mission work too.  He also speaks Greek, Mama tells me.  So I'm working on a Greek Cross Quilt for him.  I have found several versions and tutorials.  My favorite tutorial is from The Double Nickle Blog.  She makes good use of 5" squares!

I like the marble look.  :)
Ms. P is sweet and elegant.  So I chose a soft and elegant X and O pattern.  I already have most of her top finished.  I had some 2 1/2" strips of Lily and Will from Moda's Bunny Hill.  I didn't want to make 2" Xs and Os  so I sewed three strips together and cut 6 1/2" squares.  Then I followed the tutorial from Missouri Star.  I blogged about that HERE.  

I started with jelly roll strips and muslin
I sewed 3 strips together and then cut 6 1/2" squares.
I cut 6 1/2" squares of Muslin into 4 equal parts.

I placed two muslin squares on the 6 1/2" square fabric.  I sewed diagonal from corner to corner and cut off the excess. Press muslin open.  Continue Pattern

Ms. S is a very vibrant and lively friend of Mama's.  Mama said she likes color and bold ideas.  I'm working on a vibrant colored Ohio Star for her.  (McCall's Pattern Here).  As I put blocks together, there will be large grey areas that I may applique some dresdens, maybe.  I do love dresdens.  :)

Ohio Star
It's so exciting to be doing something so special for Mama.  I do love her so.  She is my sweet Nonny Nonny.  

Have a great week!!  -Little Mama Hen

Thursday, September 6, 2012

EZ Dresden Challenge

My Dresden Charity Quilt

The design I planned
Do you ever start out to do something and then you find your path shifting in a different direction.  I have found in life that this usually leads me to good things.

Well, several months ago I read about the EZ Dresden Challenge and I wanted to make a quilt to participate.  I love dresdens; in fact, I used the Darlene Zimmerman's ruler and pattern for my first quilt! (Picture Here) My fist design (Here) was and will be stunning (the red and black one) but for some reason I got distracted with making dresdens to use up my scraps.

I knew right away that this quilt would go to a charity.  (I blogged about it Here) It was such FUN to make and I know that I will make more.  My Mom is working to find 'her' the right home and I hope that it will be a blessing for whoever receives it. For me, the little scraps are symbolic of what might have been thrown away, discarded, considered of no value.  But with a little love, patience, and inspiration,  what was considered lost was found and made beautiful.

What distracted me.  :) 

Mao Mao inspecting my work

Back!  I love patchwork!!

I hope that you find inspiration in your life today!  -Little Mama Hen

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Little Dresses For Africa - Dress Tutorial

Have you ever heard about Little Dresses for Africa (LDFA)?  I've blogged about it Here and Here.  Little dresses are collected from all over the world to be hand delivered to Little Girls in needy countries.  

Visit the LDFA BLOG and/or Facebook to find out more!!

I usually sew pillowcase dress to send to LDFA; however, recently I was inspired to create a little dress of my own. :) You can see what it looks like on a cutie pie HERE.   This particular orange and purple dress is going to my Grand Niece; however, I've made a Gold and Green one for the September Challenge that will be going to LDFA.  The September Challenge is to make little dresses in your school colors and my alma mater is green and gold.  Can you guess what college? ;)

So, here we go!  This is how I made my little dress.  This dress is adjustable for 2T/3T

What you need.

TOP/BODICE (purple) - two 2"x20" strip for front of dress and two 2"x10" strip for back.
SHOULDER STRAPS (purple) - four 2 1/2"x37" strips (my straps are fat and long, you can adjust to preference)
HEM (Purple) - one 2 1/2"x 44" (or whatever the width of the body)
BODY (Orange)- one 18"x 44" (some fabrics are shorter than 44", adjust hem to match body piece)
ELASTIC - 12" (I used 3/4"width)


The purple fabric is my hem and the orange fabric is the body of my little dress.  Measure your hem fabric and your body fabric and make sure that they are the same width. Mine were not.  I had to trim them.  I ended up with a 40" width.  Since my selvage ends were cut, I zigzagged stitched (you can serge or use pinking shears) the length of each raw edge (18" for the body and 2 1/2" for the hem.) I sewed the two short ends of the hem fabric together, right sides together.  This made a tube. Press the seam open.  I sewed the body fabric together, the 18" length and right sides together. This also made a tube. Press seams open. With right sides facing align the seams and raw edges of the body fabric and the hem fabric. Sew a 1/4" seam.

Press the seam allowance down toward the hem.  On the hem fabric press 1/4" fold up toward the seam. 

Bring the folded hem to align with the stitch line of the seam allowance.  I marked the stitch line in purple.  Pin in place.  Once the entire hem is pinned, top stitch.  No raw edges!! yay.  :)


With right sides facing sew a 1/4" seam along two long ends and one short end.  Optional: you can sew a diagonal line on the short end to made a tapered strap.  Clip corners and turn right side out.  Press.


Take one 2"x20" strip and finger press a crease in the middle.  Right side facing up, place the two straps about 2" from the center crease line. Align raw edges.  Baste straps, about 1/8" from edge.  Place the the other 2"x20" strip on top of the straps, right sides facing.  Sew a 1/4" seam along the entire length of the top (20").  Make sure your seam is along the edge that the straps have been basted.  Turn right side out and press. Top stitch along the top of the bodice for extra support and a finished look.


Now that your straps have been attached, a casing needs to be sewn for the elastic strip.  My elastic was 3/4" and 12" long.  

Once the casing is sewn, I use safety pins at each end of my elastic.  One safety pin helps me guide the elastic through the casing and the other safety pin helps me NOT pull the elastic all the way through the casing!  Have you ever done that!  I have way to many time. ;)  Baste and secure each end of the elastic once pulled through the casing.


Press 1/4" fold on each short end of the bodice back (2"x10").  With right sides facing sew a 1/4" seam along the long side of the bodice back, connecting the two strips.  Turn right side out and press.  Find the middle of the back and sew a button hole.  My button hole was about 3/4" and that was large enough for the straps to fit through.  I practiced making a button hole first on scrap material.  


Remember the folded ends that you pressed into the back of your bodice?  Well now this is where it helps!  Tuck the front bodice piece (the one with the elastic) in the folded back piece and sew to secure together.  Make sure that you do NOT sew all the way down.  Only sew the length of the casing.  My pencil shows where I stopped. 

Now you have the top!


Turn body piece wrong side out and bodice/top piece right side out.  Place bodice/top inside the body piece.  Align raw edges and pin.  You will notice that the body is alot larger than the  bodice/top.  You can either gather the entire body piece prior to pinning to top or you can pleat the body or a little of both.  Whatever works for you.  I pleated the back and then stretch out the front top to pin to the body.

Do not sew both layers of the bodice to the body.  Fold back the top layer and sew a good 1/2" - 3/4" from the raw edges.  As close as you can get to the casing stitch line in the front.

Sewing back of bodice to body.

sewing front of bodice to body

Trim down seam allowance to 1/4"ish.

Press the seam allowance toward the bodice.  Then fold and press the top layer to hide raw edges and seam allowance.

Top stitch to hold fold.

No raw edges!!  Now just pull straps through the button hole and tie a big bow to secure!

And there she is!  I may add a pocket to the front and try some versions with larger hems or smaller straps. So many possibilities.  I hope you'll be inspired to sew something for LDFA or your favorite children's charity.  Childhood is so short, but the memories we make during those times last forever.   Now, go hug your little ones or borrow a friends, because they are just so precious!

Happy Sewing!
Little Mama Hen.