Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Mug rug swap

Earlier in the month I shared this picture, which was a sneak peek of a mug rug I made for my friend Ida in my first ever swap.  I also posted some pictures of the *gorgeous* mug rug she had made for me.

Not only was I excited to receive such a beautiful gift from her, but I was tickled by the similarities between the mug rugs we had made for each other.  The only instruction was "mug rug" but as you can see, we both used similar colors, applique, a diagonal corner stripe and (my favorite part!) ladybugs!

I made her mug rug while on vacation in New York.  All I had (in terms of supplies) was my hexie kit -- paper hexies, needle, thread and scissors.  I procured a FQ bundle and started stitching --- completely by hand -- until I came up with this.  Instead of batting, I used 3 layers of craft felt in the middle.  (Two would have been more than enough, but live and learn!)

I hadn't really intended to do the entire thing by hand, I was just going to make a hexie... but once I got started, I thought it would be a fun challenge to see how much I could do.

Basting was the hardest part, nothing seemed to stay flat as I was hand stitching, but it worked out well enough.

If you look closely, you can see that I stitched "Made with love and ladybug hugs" (in addition to a ladybug).  Not only is it the name of my blog, but it's how I make everything -- with love and ladybug hugs.

I also sent Ida a small ladybug notepad, some shells collected on the beach near my house (in Florida) and a bottle of Adirondack maple syrup from Upstate New York, my favorite place on earth.  I hope she will enjoy all of them as much as I enjoyed making this for her.

~*~ May your day be full of Love and Ladybug Hugs ~*~

Thanks for stopping by!
~ Kat ~

Monday, July 22, 2013

Forever has arrived!

I was sure the day would never come, but FOREVER has arrived!  What started as a giant box of t-shirts and 4 pair of pants.... over 2 1/2 years ago.... has finally become THIS quilt.  I couldn't be happier!

It measures 85" x 67" and is made entirely of my friend Shaun's clothes (mostly t-shirts) on both the front and the back.  The only exceptions are a few song lyrics he asked me to embroider for him, which I did on a white cotton fabric.

Though not a "traditional" quilt (and certainly not "traditional" construction methods!), this may just be one of my all-time favorite quilts.

Each and every block holds a memory and tells a story for Shaun.  I really can't think of a more special quilt than a memory quilt.

Can you spot the hidden ladybug, hand stitched into the block above?

Quilting this was quilt a workout... it was HEAVY and THICK!  It was equal parts sewing and wrestling, for sure.

For the most part, I quilted along each seam with a wave line and some loops.  I added loops to each intersection, and did a little FMQ in some of the plain filler blocks.

I didn't want to detract from any of the t-shirt designs, so I did not quilt inside any of those blocks.  I also didn't want this quilt to "crinkle" (and distort the shirt designs) so I used a polyester batting, rather than the cotton I typically use.

It is even bound with t-shirt fabric, which was not an easy task!  (Note: Spray starch is my new best friend!)

This quilt is far from perfect in terms of sewing, but it is still a "perfect" quilt --- full of love, warmth and memories for a very special friend.  After all, isn't that what quilt making is all about?

~*~ May your day be full of Love and Ladybug Hugs ~*~

Thanks for stopping by!
~ Kat ~

Friday, July 5, 2013


Last month, I joined my first ever swap.  So exciting!  This group has been together for almost a year and they swap mug rugs every other month.  They had an odd number of people so my sweet friend Ida asked me if I'd be interested.  Um, yes!!!

While I was away in New York, my package arrived (early) from Ida.  It took all I had not to open it right away, because I wanted to finish hers before I opened mine.  Hers went in the mail this morning so I finally allowed myself to open the one she sent.


Aren't these fabrics beautiful?  I just love the colors and the ric-rac on the bottom corner.  She's a wiz with her ME (machine embroidery), don't you think??  She even added a heart (my maiden name is Valentine), my blog name and best of all --- ladybugs!!!  There's not a snowball's chance in Florida that a mug will ever sit on this rug, it's just too pretty!

She even signed it for me on the back, which I love.  Ida is the reason I own an embroidery machine, and I will always love to hate her (hate to love her?) for that, haha!

Below is a sneak peak of the mug rug I made for Ida.  I don't want to show the whole thing yet, but she should get it early next week so then I'll show the rest.  Though we obviously used different fabrics, I was amazed at how many similarities there were between them.  It's almost like someone gave us guidelines and we put our own twist on them... but really, the only guideline was "make a mug rug."  I suppose great minds just think alike :-)

The one I made (above) was completed (except for the binding) while I was in New York.  I didn't have a sewing machine, rotary cutter, mat or even a quilting ruler.... all I had was a FQ bundle, my hexie / hand sewing kit and some pieces of craft felt.  The one I made for her was done entirely by hand, except sewing the binding on, which I did when I get home.  I hope she likes it!

Many more updates but one thing at a time.... I still have 7 loads of laundry to do from our trip, and I've been home 5 days already!

~*~ May your day be full of Love and Ladybug Hugs ~*~

Thanks for stopping by!
~ Kat ~