Thursday, May 29, 2008

Checking In

I'm heading southwest tomorrow for a few days and promise posts upon my return midweek, but before I go, here's a photo of the lovely quilt I received this week from Annette as part of the Miniature Booty Swap hosted by the Quilting Pirate. I love the bright colors, especially the green and orange batik making up each square. Thanks so much!! (The pieced label is lovely, too, but unfortunately my photos didn't turn out so well.)

I've been away from my computer in part because I've had a visitor all the way from Kazakhstan! Here are just a few photos of our week in sunny Finland. Back soon!

Saturday, May 17, 2008

The Mini Flower Quilts Are Finally Finished!

I can't believe it's been well over a month since I started making these little minis. They've been with me to two other countries in the meantime and I sewed the final stiches last night! One went to Karol-Ann in my give-away and the others are intended as gifts and thank-yous, especially for swap organizers! At this point, I don't want to see another lollypop flower on a pieced green stem again, but I do think they'd make a really cool quilt all together, so maybe I will return to them someday. Here they are all stacked up and ready to go.

This is a glimpse of what I'm working on next. Inspired by this ad from Anttila last week (the fabric comes from Finlayson), I'm trying a little more complicated applique with both convex and concave edges. I think this will become another swap quilt. We'll see whether I get as addicted to the fish as I have to the circles and butterflies!

Friday, May 16, 2008

Miniature Booty Butterflies

“Happiness is like a butterfly: the more you chase it, the more it will elude you, but if you turn your attention to other things, it will come and sit softly on your shoulder." Henry David Thoreau

This little swap quilt has arrived safely in Luxembourg, so I can finally post a photo here. It was really fun to make and I hope Liliane enjoys it! Now that Dot (thanks!!) is sending me some more of the Vienna fabric, I think there is a larger butterfly project in my future! The printed butterflies are from some thrifted hand-printed curtains I picked up at the UFO loppis at Loftet in April. (The binding is a thrifted pillow case.) I was nervous about piecing the label into the back, because that meant I'd have to quilt all over it, but it turned out just fine. Here's a photo of the label before quilting. (The personal details are covered up with reindeer bone buttons I bought last summer in Lappland.)

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Summer Sign-ups

The summer round of the Four Seasons Quilt Swap is about to begin! You can sign up by emailing Margaret at msolomo1(at) and you can find more information here. Check out the previous seasons in this flickr group. The swap will be capped at 75 participants (or on June 1st, but I'm imagine it will close before then), so act quickly!

Monday, May 12, 2008

Red Butterflies

Continuing my butterfly theme, I made five more 8.5" blocks for Clare for the Quilts for Leukemia project tonight. I know she's received blocks from people all over the world, but I thought I'd issue a challenge to any readers in Finland to send a block - apparently I am the only person in Finland to participate so far. Any takers? If you're interested, you can email me (address in my profile in the sidebar) or Clare directly (click on the link above for more info). She's finished seven quilts since starting the project less than two years ago! It's a fun way to try something out or to use up your red and white scraps. The only requirements are the colors red and white and 8.5" square (including seam allowances). You can see some of my previous blocks here, here, or here.

Series and Swaps

Here's what I was up to over the weekend - a series of mini quilts similar to this. It's great free-motion machine quilting practice. I also finished up my Miniature Booty swap quilt, but won't show a whole photos of that until it's reached its European destination. I also found someone to swap the Vienna fabric with me - cool how this blogging thing works!

Thursday, May 08, 2008


I haven't tried this before, but I thought I'd give it a try! I would really like to make some more little butterflies out of this fabric:

It's from the Alexander Henry Vienna collection. EQuilter has just one yard left (I'm not as crazy about the pinker version of the same thing), but if I order it, I will pay more for the shipping than I will for the fabric itself and that just seems silly. I wonder if there is any chance that someone out there might have it (or might be placing an EQuilter order already and it wouldn't add to the shipping costs). I had a quarter (half?) yard of it and used it for this mini quilt. The butterfly was made out of small scraps from my scrap bin.

I'd be willing to swap a mini quilt in the vein of this, this, this, or this for a yard or two of the fabric. Any takers?

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Quick Peek

Here's what I'm working on for the Miniature Booty swap hosted by the Quilting Pirate. Any guesses what it might be? (Sorry for the blurry photo - dark room, low battery.)

Check out the cool quiltlet Nines is making after seeing my flower pots! She's definitely caught the free-piecing bug, too!

Monday, May 05, 2008

When it Rains it Pours!

We did get a little rain today - good for getting back to work, but the real downpour was of swap quilts in my mailbox!

The first from Eggmoney as part of the Doll Quilt Swap III. (See more photos of the swap here and the one I sent here.) The hand quilting is fabulous and this is definitely a block I need to play around with myself in the future! Thanks so much!

The second from Floribunda as part of the spring round of the Four Seasons Swap. (See more photos here and the one I sent here.) The colors are wild and I love the appliqued flowers that look like they were cut from one of the fabrics. It already has a place on my sewing room wall. Thanks so much for this one, too!

I am working on two more small swap quilts - just cut up some thrifted butterfly curtains tonight for one. Photos to come.

This last photo is of a Marimekko pillow I bought while my weekend visitor from Moscow was doing some serious damage buying gifts for his mom and sister in the US. I've been admiring this Mökki pattern since last summer when a huge piece of the red version was hanging in the shop window in Vaasa. I think the green looks good with my couch and the quilt hanging above it. (Note the sun reflecting off the water at 9 something this evening in the background! I might have to start posting more middle of the night photos again soon!)

Just remembered one thing to add to this post - before I left for England, I sent off this little gift to a friend for her birthday, but I didn't want to post a photo before she got it. There's a long (and not so interesting) story behind my need to make her a bathmat (I have no idea if she needed or wanted a bathmat) to do with a failed Martha Stewart craft project many moons ago. Anyway, her cat, Sisu (a good Finnish cat living in Washington, DC), seems to have bonded with this bathmat made of vintage Finnish terrycloth samples. It matches the one I made for myself last year.

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Glada Vappen and Happy May Day!

It's been quiet here, because I was in southern Europe for a couple of days. Well, southern is a relative term. I was in Estonia, where the leaves are out and it reached 23C! Beautiful weather here in Vaasa now, too, but still waiting for the green. Caught up with friends in Tallinn and Tartu, soaked up the sun, took in some German theater (playing again May 8th for anyone in the neighborhood), enjoyed an evening outdoor sing-along as part of the student days, and even found a little time for quilt-related tourism.

Wandering around Tallinn's old town on Saturday afternoon, we stumbled upon this quilt studio. I bought their book (below). Lots of log cabins on display and a huge workbench with piles and piles of fabric neatly stored underneath, including lots of retro fabrics. (Amazing how that word works in so many languages.)

I finished up my Doll Quilt III swap quilt on the way down on Friday. It will be in the mail tomorrow after the holiday. I'm pretty sure the recipient isn't a regular reader of this blog, so here are the final photos, including a detail shot of some of the quilting. Great chance to practice more free-motion quilting. I noticed that Janey made a similar one (maybe inspired by the same magazine?) for Kate for the Four Seasons Swap. Once again, it's so cool to see similar quilts in very different colors/layouts!

Then I also stopped in IKEA in Helsinki on my way home! These are decorator weight fabrics - destined to be bags, I think. Can you cut and weigh your own fabric at all IKEAs now? It was kind of fun, but I don't think I'd like doing it all day. Makes me appreciate the women who cut my fabric at Mardens during my once-a-year shopping spree!