Finished Product

The Princess and the Pea for Eloise


Eloise's Princess and the Pea Quilt
Eloise’s Princess and the Pea Quilt

I designed a special quilt for our granddaughter, Eloise.  At the same time, I developed a pattern for this quilt as you may recall in an earlier blog, introducing the Princess and the Pea pattern.

After I made the original sample for the pattern, I created another one, just for Eloise.  I changed the second quilt and used a variation suggested in the pattern.  Instead of bias trim for the vine that winds around the quilt’s border, I used a large rickrack.

I’m very pleased to share that last night I gave Eloise her quilt and she was delighted and could not wait to put it on her bed.  The first thing she wanted to do, of course, was to find the pea!

Eloise with her Princess and the Pea quilt
Eloise with her Princess and the Pea quilt
Eloise pointing out the pea
Eloise pointing out the pea

For the last several weeks, whenever we were together, she would ask about the status of her quilt.

I was committed to finishing this quilt as it was made especially for her and had some unique features.  First of all, her mommy, Alecia, had asked me to make the quilt using fabric with the 1930’s vintage look.  I also had to incorporate Eloise’s favorite color, purple and began collecting fabrics and rummaged through my stash to come up with a good collection for her quilt.  I also used rickrack for the vine that twists around the border of the quilt.  I love the bit of whimsy that this added to the quilt.  I found a darling background print with little purple flowers that served as the perfect backdrop for the princess’ bed.  It was so much fun to see this quilt come together and watch as the anticipation built from Eloise.

She was particularly tickled when I added the crown with her name on it and she loved to search for the little pea under the bottom mattress when the quilt was on my design wall.

The crown for Miss Eloise
The crown for Miss Eloise
The pea peeking out under the bottom mattress
The pea peeking out under the bottom mattress







Once the top was finished, I had it quilted by Yvette Ebaugh, who did an incredible job on my original Princess and the Pea quilt.  Once again, she did a beautiful job as you can see in the following pictures…

The beautiful quilting truly highlighted the quilt
The beautiful quilting truly highlighted the quilt
Love how the woodgrain was quilted on the bedposts
Love how the woodgrain was quilted on the bedposts







Each mattress was quilted different
Each mattress was quilted different




I love how the quilting highlighted the pea
I love how the quilting highlighted the pea








Finally, I made the label for Eloise’s quilt.  I always consider this the finishing touch for a quilt because it tells a bit of a story of the quilt, as in who it was made for and when, etc.

Sweet Eloise's quilt label
Sweet Eloise’s quilt label

I’m so pleased to have this quilt finished and tickled that Eloise loves it.  That’s what really makes it all worthwhile.

What quilt projects have you been working on?  I would love to hear about them.

Happy Sewing!


Note:  If you would like to make your own Princess and the Pea quilt, it is available as a pattern that can be purchased locally at the Quilt Crossing or online at Craftsy.



Finished Product, Gift Idea, New Patterns

B’s Big Girl Quilt Pattern Now Available!!!

When it was time for our granddaughter, Belén, to transition from the nursery to a new room, I volunteered to make her a quilt for her new bedroom.  Her Mom, Alecia, had purchased a darling rug for the room and I wanted to pull out some of the colors from that rug.

Monkey see, Monkey do… Belén imitating what she had just seen Nana do to measure the back of her quilt.

I also wanted to make it a colorful, but simple design, so I designed a strip quilt.  When I completed the quilt, I was encouraged by Patty, one of the owners of the Quilt Crossing, to publish a pattern and also to teach a class.  I agreed to do so and that is how my very first pattern, B’s Big Girl Quilt, came to be.

Picture of Quilt on Belén’s bed with matching pillowcase

I had the pattern available as a handout for students of my class, but had not yet finalized the graphics and final layout for distribution.   My students enjoyed making this quilt and it was so much fun to see the different looks they achieved by varying their color schemes.

Melanie Blair in class working on a quilt for her granddaughter

In December, my daughter, Alecia, and I were talking about the status of my pattern and she asked me to send her a copy of the draft, so she could review it.  We also set a deadline when I needed to deliver the finished product as I work better when I have a deadline.  I sent her the almost-completed pattern on the agreed upon date and we set up a time after Christmas to get together for final formatting.   What I didn’t know is that she passed this information along to her sister, Anna Marie, who had drawn my name for Christmas.  Anna then proceeded to work with my draft, along with some pictures Alecia took of the quilt, and finalized the format on her Mac to complete my very first pattern.  In addition, she set up an Etsy site as one means to distribute my patterns.  When I opened my gift, there was a lovely red portfolio.  Inside it contained:a draft copy of the pattern, a CD with all the final files, copies of information on my Etsy account all neatly filed behind tabs entitled “Etsy” and “B’s Big Girl Quilt”.  At first I was confused, then overwhelmed, amazed and so delighted!!!  What an amazing gift from an even more amazing daughter…

Red Portfolio with tabs, along with copy of the cover for my pattern

Once I had recovered from opening my gifts, Anna asked me to review the pattern and suggested we get together for final format changes, etc.  Yesterday, we met to do so, as well as train me a bit on Pages, a Mac word processing program that was used for this pattern.  We also updated a few things on my Etsy account, etc.

So today, I am pleased to announce the publication of my first pattern, B’s Big Girl Quilt.

It is a great pattern for a beginner to learn quilting or also a quick pattern for a more experienced seamstress.  The pattern includes instructions for both a twin and baby quilt.

If you are interested in purchasing the pattern, you can obtain it for $7.99 at my Etsy site by clicking on Etsy or you once you are on the Etsy site, simply type in “big girl quilt” as a search and it will come up, usually in the second row.   (It has been tested by students in two classes at Quilt Crossing, but I welcome any additional feedback you have.)

I hope you had a wonderful holiday.  Mine was very special this year and I’m overwhelmed by the thoughtfulness and work that went into my gifts.  The best gift of all though was spending time with my amazing family.

Happy 2012!!!

Finished Product

Pick A Pocket

Now that we are back from a wonderful vacation to Montana, which included an incredible Art Quilt Class with Ruth McDowell (future post), I had to get busy on some pending projects.  One included a cute new dress for Miss Belén.  (There is also one in the works for Eloise that I will share with you in a future post.)  Quilt Crossing has some darling new patterns  they will be sharing at this Sunday’s Market Party, including one from Olive Ann Designs called “Peaceout”.  I thought it was so clever how they use the zipper in the front as a design element.

Jumper Pattern (the doll can be ordered as a separate pattern)

I chose some adorable owl fabric with a bright yellow background to use for the dress because yellow is Belén’s favorite color.  When I laid out the pattern, I thought I had the correct piece selected for the yellow so that it would be the prominent front piece on the pattern.  As I began to sew the jumper together, however, I discovered that I had, in fact, cut it out as the piece that lies under the front piece.  Once I completed the jumper, I felt  it needed something more.

Finished jumper - Cute, but missing something???

I thought about adding rickrack to the neckline edge, but I really wanted to highlight the cute owl fabric.  So, I decided to add a pocket.  This would help to highlight the owl fabric and once I had made a pocket pattern piece the correct size (which I more or less guessed on), I carefully fussy cut the yellow pocket piece so that it included one of the cute owls.  I also added a bit of red rickrack to highlight the red zipper.

Owl Pocket with rick rack trim

I lined the pocket with the same fabric I used in the lining of the jumper and sewed it on the front of the jumper.  Once again, I guessed as to the location for the pocket and tried to position it so that it would be accessible for little hands to reach. 

I think the pocket did add a little something to the jumper.  Here’s the finished jumper – what do you think?

Finished jumper with pocket

Now that we’re back, I’ll be busy posting a number of ideas that I discovered on our trip, the next Stitcher’s Garden block of the month, as well as share the fun time I have been having teaching our daughter, Alecia, how to sew.

Hope you are having a wonderful month of June!  Happy Sewing!!!

(Note:  I also made this jumper in a larger size to be used as a pattern model for Quilt Crossing.  The pattern also includes a dress pattern for the doll, so you can make the doll a matching jumper.  As mentioned before, the doll can be purchased as a separate pattern.  Next time you are in the store, check it out!)

Finished Product

Sweet Eloise has arrived!!!

We are delighted to share that our new granddaughter, Eloise Mae Hoobing, was born on May 1 at 4:45 a.m.,  weighing 7 lbs., 12 oz. and measuring 21 3/4 inches.   We are so thankful that mother and granddaughter are both doing great!

Alecia and Eloise

While Mom, Dad and new baby were at the hospital, we had the pleasure of watching the newborn’s big sister, Belén, who turned two just last Thursday.  She was an absolutely delightful little house guest.  She seemed a bit uncertain about the new member of the family when we visited the hospital, but after a couple visits, I think she began to understand that her baby sister was now a part of the family. 

Belén and Daddy with Eloise

Yesterday, Belén and I decided to make a boppy pillow cover for her new baby sister.  The boppy pillow that Alecia had was covered with a cotton cover.  We thought it would be nice to have a softer minkee cover for Baby Eloise to lay on.  

In April, Alecia found a boppy cover pattern at a blog called Vanilla Joy.  I used the pattern (pieces 1-6), but instead of putting a zipper on the backside of the cover, as the author instructed, I put the zipper on the outside seam line.  I cut two identical pieces for the front and back side of the boppy cover and then put a 22″ zipper in the center of the back seamline.  This enables you to use both sides of the pillow cover to lay the baby on for support. 

Once I taped the pieces together, I cut two identical pieces for front and back of the cover.

Here’s a link to the Vanilla Joy blog that provides the pattern and more details on how to make the cover, with a zipper on the back side.  We appreciate the use of the pattern and great instructions.  You can decide which position you prefer to have the zipper in and plan accordingly.

The boppy pillow with the new minkee cover

Above is a picture of the completed cover and two very special people who will be using it. 

Happy sewing!

Finished Product

E is for Elephant… or Eloise?

Close-up of eye and ear fabric

We are so very excited because it is count down time for the arrival of our next grandchild, Miss Eloise Mae Hoobing.  Our daughter, Alecia, is due April 30th and last weekend we attended a baby shower to celebrate.  It was so much fun and the past few weeks, I have been sewing up a storm to prepare for this fun event.

If you have been following my blog, you know how much I enjoy sewing for our granddaughter, Belén, who will soon be a big sister to Eloise.  Before her arrival on April 28, 2009, I made a couple baby quilts, along with nursery curtains, some cushions and a few items for her wardrobe.  I wanted to insure that Little Eloise received the same kind of warm welcome and have been planning what kind of quilt to make for her.  The nursery has a jungle theme and when I came across an idea for an elephant quilt, it spoke to me.   The original pattern is from a book called Lickety-Split Quilts for Little Ones

Once my main theme for the quilt was established, the hunt began for the perfect fabric.  I found a cute lavendar oval fabric for the body and a couple Kaffe Fassett pieces to use for the ears and eyes of the elephant. 

Finally, two Alexandar Henry pieces were used for the polka dot background as well as the cute “entertaining elephants” fabric for the back of the quilt.   

Multi-colored polka dots
Entertaining Elephants fabric for backing
Once the piecing was complete, it was time to quilt.  I decided to use a lavender thread so that it would disappear in the elephant, but still show up on the backing.  The daisy quilt pattern was done by a programmable long-arm quilt machine, and I was pleased how it turned out.  The last step was to add the binding, which was made out of the same fabric used for the eye and hooves.  And here’s the finished project, Little Eloise’s first baby quilt.
The finished E is for Elephant quilt

I can’t wait to snuggle her up in it!  🙂

Close-up of quilting design
Finished Product

Lil’ Fabric Shopper

You’re never too young or old to “play” with fabric.  Case in point…

Last summer, my granddaughter and I went on an adventure to a local fabric store.   Since I needed to get a few notions for a project I was working on and was watching Belén that day, we decided to make it a little field trip.   As we were roaming the aisles of the store, Belén found a darling piece of fleece that she just had to share with me.  As you can see by the picture, my little monkey found a few others to play with.

Nana, Look at the Monkey!!!

 The fleece was as soft as it was cute and somehow leaped into our cart.  As we meandered our way to the checkout counter, she also managed to model a few things along the way, including…

Our own Lil’ Minnie Pearl

She was quite the little charmer and displayed a great sense of color and style, don’t you agree?

By the way, the little fleece piece became a small blanket which is still one of her favorites.
Finished Product

Welcome to Rick Rack and Polka Dots

This is the first post on my new blog.  I cannot wait to share my pattern and sewing ideas with you!  Here is an apron I made for my daughter for Christmas.  I will share with you how I made it soon!


And I cannot resist showing a similar photo with my granddaughter, Belén, in the picture as well.  Isn’t she adorable?

Belén and Alecia, my granddaughter and daughter
Belén and Alecia, my granddaughter and daughter

I look forward to sharing, brainstorming and interacting with all of my fabric-loving friends!