Hey y’all,

It’s been a while but I wanted to record this baby book.  My third nephew was born in 2014 and I intended to make him a fabric book for his 1st birthday as I had his brothers. (You can see theirs here and here.) Well, one thing led to another, so this ended up being a Christmas gift instead.  I got confused about the size and this one ended up being 12″ square instead of 10″ like its predecessors.  It’s a little bit too big, I think, but I’m otherwise very happy with the outcome.  There are a few hand-stitched elements (see close-ups; the nest isn’t hand-stitched but I wanted to show the layering).

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Tie Quilt

My grandmother made this crazy quilt in the 1970s or 80s using my grandfather’s neckties that she had been saving since the 40s.  She gave it to me in the late 1990s and I used it for a while on my bed but soon some of the old silk ties began disintegrating.  It’s been sitting in a bureau drawer ever since.  I can’t bring myself to throw it away but I also have to admit that I am never going to repair this quilt top or use it again.  So I thought I would post a message here and see if anyone wants to take this project on.

Here are some details: the quilt top is gigantic and measures about 8 square feet; the individual squares are approximately 14″. (So big that I didn’t even try to take a picture of the whole thing — this is just one quarter.)  It had a horrible heavy polyester backing on it which I had cut off some years ago when I thought that I would take on the repair project.  Some of the squares are still in very good condition, while others are not.  (One possibility is to cut the squares apart and reassemble the good squares into a quilt that you could use as a wall-hanging.)

I am offering this quilt top to anyone who would like to take it on.  I only ask that you pay the postage via Paypal.  Send me an email at kleiosbelly@gmail.com and we’ll work out the details.

It was my owl-loving niece’s birthday and as is the custom, I made her a bit of papercraft as a birthday card. There are a couple of artists out there who make more elaborate versions of these altered books, but I was pretty happy with the result.  I forgot to take a picture of the spine, but I think it was called Our Amazing Bird Friends or something like that.

Owl birthday book

Owl birthday book

Owl birthday book Owl birthday book

Owl birthday book


green chevron detail

This quilt is actually the older sister to the baby bee quilt.  I made this one two years ago but lost my pictures when my computer crashed.  I was babysitting its owner this morning and grabbed a couple of snaps with my cell phone.

green chevron

This is a small quilt, just 21″ square, for use in a stroller or car seat.  Backed with fleece so it’s nice and cozy.


baby bee quilt

A dear friend is having a baby boy any day now so I made her this small quilt.  It measures about 24″ square, just the right size to use in a stroller or car seat.

baby bee quilt back

It being August and all, I skipped the batting and used a piece of flannel for the back so it’s cosy but lightweight.  I figure it will come in handy around September when the evenings start getting cool here in upstate New York.

baby bee quilt

I spotted this sweet bee fabric while traveling at the beginning of the summer and snatched it up because my friend’s school has a beekeeping club.  The rounded corners are a cinch to make since there isn’t any batting — just pin the fabrics right side together, cut your corners, stitch, flip right-side out, top stitch around the outside to close the gap, and quilt. Easy peasy.

Roman Blinds

I’m the queen of crappy pics lately but I wanted to post this project for the record.  I made my sister some roman blinds at the beginning of the year.  This was actually a long-ago Christmas gift IOU.  I was a bit intimidated by the process and didn’t really like the original fabric I had chosen.

Over winter break, I finally decided the time had come to finish this project.  Part of the motivation came from the fact that I have been trying to weed out my stash of stuff, including all my unused craft supplies.  I had all the pieces for this project — dowels, wood slat, rings, string — and needed to clear it out of my craft closet.  I finally found fabric I *love* by looking at shower curtains at TJ Maxx!  This was a Cynthia Rowley cloth shower curtain that I cut in half lengthwise to make two blinds.  The great thing about using a shower curtain was that the bottom and one of the sides were already hemmed, and I didn’t have to worry about lining up the design perfectly since it was already taken care of.  I wish I had better pictures because I really love how these turned out.  They look beautiful against the dark wood window frames and give the whole room a cleaner look.

I used Martha’s tutorial as inspiration but sewed my dowel pockets from the lining itself (pic one, above). And I did everything by machine.  This worked out fine since I used white thread and the front fabric pattern hides the stitches well enough, but if I had used plain fabric, it would have looked sort of messy.

Butterfly Mandala

This is what happened.  My (not so) new apartment has very tall ceilings and once I got things arranged to my liking, I found I had a very tall empty wall over my bed.  I wanted something big to put there that would fit with the India-inspired color scheme — bright orange curtains, pink rug, yellow throw pillows, multi-colored bed scarf.  Lots of thinking, looking at pictures on the interwebs, more thinking.

In October, I became obsessed with paper maché and made a dio de los muertos mask.  Around the same time, I became obsessed with mandalas, so I decided to make a giant paper maché mandala for my wall.  I put it together with cardboard, newspaper, flour paste, and gesso, but then came the difficulty of deciding how to decorate it.  Paint? Collage? Fabric?  I stared at it for a few more weeks, tried collage but it looked like crap so I peeled it off and stared at it for another week or so, painted one design and hated it, gessoed over it, stared at it again.

Butterfly Mandala

After a few more false starts, I got the idea to use butterfly wings as inspiration — butterflies having an important symbolic meaning in my life.  The designs in each of the mandala petals are copied from different kinds of butterflies, but I used monarch coloring throughout.  After staring at it for another week or so, I decided on a simple flower in the middle.

Butterfly Mandala

Since I only used paper maché on one side of the cardboard, it pulled the cardboard into a convex shape as it dried, adding to the three-dimensional quality.  You can’t quite see it in the photos, but the inside section is cut out, adding more dimension.  I didn’t put any kind of hanger on the back, so I just drilled right through it with a couple of wood screws, which are black and disappear in the black paint.  It measures 38 inches across but looks smaller on the giant wall.

It’s really dramatic — very colorful and almost tribal — and I’m kind of loving it.


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