Coral, Queen of the Sea

Have y'all seen this panel by Moda?   It's quite adorable!  I thought this would be the perfect little gift for my niece who's turning 6. Her favorite colors are pink and purple.  And so were mine, and probably every other 6 year old girl.                                            

With one panel you get one doll, Coral, her stuffed animal Charlie, the sea horse (yes, I did just make up his name), a pillow, and of course bedding  - not to mention a cute mini skirt and a fishtail skirt.  A girl needs options, I totally get it!  
I brought this project to my office to work on during my lunch break, and the owner of the company stumbled upon my sewing room I've been hiding at the office.  He walked in, put his hands on his hips and finally said, "So this is the sewing room?"  :)

I started with the bedding, and used leftover batting I had on hand.  I needed to piece it, so I used The Original Quilt Basting Spray.  This stuff works wonders doesn't it? 
Leave a little opening when you're sewing to turn everything right side out.  I always leave the smallest possible opening - I don't favor hand sewing!  :/

To mark the opening, aka the "do not sew zone", I use two pins in the same location.  Whatever your technique is, just don't forget it or you'll be busting out our old friend the seam ripper.

I quilted little floating hearts randomly in the swirl of fish.

 The pillow comes next.  These are all super simple.  You are just cutting around on the dotted line, sewing using 1/4" seam, nothing tricky but super cute!

Next up: Coral!
To make sure you get these lined up perfectly, I thought I was being super smart and placed the cut-outs against the light, using it as my light box to ensure proper placement.

Smart, right?  Wrong!  I was leaning over my iron and didn't realize it until...

Yup!  I got myself good! I have never really burned myself in all these years.  I guess it was about time.  I now have a scar, and I don't think it's going to go away. I don't have any tattoo's so this is my new mark of passion!  :)  Silver lining, lets go with it.

Did you notice my little wrist pin cushion?  I love it.  I use it all the time!  There are new magnetic ones out there now a days but I like my old school one. 

Once I stopped burning myself, it was time to sew Coral together. She has the cutest little face.  Just like my niece! Her little arms and legs were tough to turn right side out, and because I was at the office, I didn't have all my normal tools. Sewing tweezers would have worked like a charm, but I was improvising, so I jabbed a pen in there.  It was a bit time consuming but two arms, two legs, and I was done.

Fish tail anyone?  Maybe I should call it a mermaid tail?  That sounds nicer.

I'm a huge fan of ironing.  I hope you are too.  It makes everything look so much nicer.  I iron all my seams to set them then if I'm opening up the seam I iron that too.

Ugh - more turning right side out.  Belts! Who knew Coral had so many belts! (now I know how my husband feels about my belts...just kidding, it's more my shoes...we need options!)  My fingers were exhausted by the time I was done!  I didn't have any safety pins that day either.  It was challenging! :)

I quickly wised up the following day and brought in a safety pin for pulling the drawstring belts through her two skirts.

On to the stuffing!  This is more challenging than it appears!  Her arms and legs are little and my fingers are not!  You really have to work the stuffing down to her pippy toes and finger tips!  Moda suggests toes first, then arms, head then body.  Once you stuff the legs stitch across where the body and legs meet for a bendy spot.  Same for the arms. 
Hand stitch all the openings and you are done!

Super cute!  :)

Bucket'ish List, Outdoor Quilt Show Temecula California

I had the adventurous idea to attend this years Outdoor Quilt Show in Temecula, California. Let me back track for one second.  On my official bucket list is the Outdoor Quilt Show in Sisters, Oregon.  The Sisters show has taken place the second Saturday of July for over 40 years! It's the largest Outdoor Quilt show in the world! But...I live in California and the Temecula show is much more feasible without much planing!  I woke up early with much anticipation, jumped in the car and in about 90 minutes I was there!  Oh what a site! 

Quilts were hung from the buildings of the Old Town district - it just felt so right!  If you've never been here before it's as if you've stepped into a time machine.  Some of the sidewalks are even old wood beams.  I do feel like they're missing an old town swinging door Saloon. What?  I can't be the only one thinking that?  Right? :O)

Families were out in full force looking at all of the quilts. I loved standing back and hearing everyone talk about all the different quilts they saw.  I was wearing my 'Quilter' Tee so people would just say random quilty things to me.  

Unlike a conventional quilt show where you know most people are going because they (we) are nuts about quilts, with a show like this, you get the run of the mill people who can just enjoy the rawness of a beautiful quilt.  Nobody's discussing the fabric line or the pattern that was used. Instead, I heard how they liked the chosen colors or 'wow look at the detail in this one!' 

If nothing else I hope people left the show feeling inspired.

The weather really cooperated. It was about 80 degrees with a nice wind so the quilts just danced in the breeze.

And they really were just strung from everywhere! My heart was singing!  

I really liked this picture: a vintage quilt next to a Starbucks.  A little old with a little new...and I'll take a Pumpkin Latte please! That will make Fall come faster!  It will!

I have this Sewing Quilt Kit on the left below.  It's called She Who Sews by Quilting Treasures. Actually, my Mom bought the same kit.  We have the same cute unmade quilt.  I must add that to the must make soon list.  Isn't it cute? Speaking of cute...The Farmers Wife Shop in Temecula is pretty spectacular. If you're in the area stop on in!  You can see it hiding in the back left of the photo below.

Lovin that wonky star quilt in the middle. 

Walking around the streets of Old Town with all these exquisite quilts really made me feel like Fall is finally upon us!  Finally! 

I hope you enjoyed the outdoor Quilt Show in Temecula, CA without leaving you're seat!  Spending the day walking around town taking pictures of all of these quilts just made my week.  I feel life is so short and I have a lot more quilts in me!  Ha!  Happy quilting!