Monday, January 31, 2011

{ technical difficulties }

I'm in the process of updating to, so please bear with me. I'm not the most tech-savvy person, so it may take me a day or two, but I'll be back up and running ASAP!

Saturday, January 29, 2011

{ and the winner is ... }

Thank you to all who entered my Sherbet Pips giveaway. I used the Random Number Generator and lucky number 77 was the winner.

So, congratulations to Sarah who said:

Sarah, please email me at olive_and_ollie at and I'll get your Pips in the mail right away!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

{ a recent custom order }

One of my dear past customers, whom I have had the pleasure of working with for quite some time now, emailed me about a month ago in need of a custom gift for a friend's baby shower. She knew the nursery was going to be done in shades of pink and black, and she asked me to make an appliqued set consisting of a blanket and two bibs and burp clothes. Here's what we came up with.

The main fabric is Dena Designs' McKenzie Blossom in Black, the binding and applique on the blanket is McKenzie Gemstone in Black, and the solid pink on the bib and burp cloth is Moda Bella in Peony.

I hope the new momma and her sweet baby get lots of use out of these goodies!

Monday, January 24, 2011

{ mini quilt giveaway on Quilting Is My Therapy }

The amazingly talented Angela Walters of Quilting is My Therapy is having a giveaway in honor of her first year of blogging. You can win some fabulous prizes from Tula Pink, Julie Herman of Jaybird Quilts, Whitney of Four Punkins, and Jacquie of Tallgrass Prairie Studio. One lucky winner will also win a gift certificate for quilting by Angela herself!

My contribution to the giveaway is this little red and aqua mini quilt that I made. It's about 20 inches square and made with 100% cotton fabrics and organic cotton batting. It's quilted in a stipple pattern and it's been through the wash once to get all the yummy crinkles.

I hope you like it! Hop on over to Angela's blog to enter. Good luck!

{ fabri-holic in the making }

Do you think she loves fabric as much as I do?

I think so. She's not quite three and is already asking me to teach her how to sew on my machine. And one of her favorite things to do is "make quilts" out my my scraps on the design wall.

You can never start them too early, right? :)

Sunday, January 23, 2011

{ color love }

It never fails that every January I get the urge to paint. A little redecorating, if you will. I don't know if it's the blahs of mid-winter, the sudden quiet after the non-stop hustle and bustle of the holidays or what, but I always get in the mood to crack open a can of fresh paint and bring a little color to the house this time of year. I've really been into aqua and teal, with a bit of red splashed in lately. I know the whole red + aqua is so trendy, but I really love the pop that those two colors bring to the drab days of winter.

We're painting our kitchen and I've fallen in love with the sample sized paints from Home Depot. For under $3, you can buy custom shades of paint in any color imaginable, and try them out at home. And I especially love their Martha Stewart Paint. My favorite? Araucana Teal. It's beautiful!

It's the new color of the large mirror that will hang in our living room.

A chalkboard from IKEA in the kitchen.

And even on a lined willow basket for toy storage.

And the best part? That little jar of paint covered all of those things. Not too shabby for about $3!

Friday, January 21, 2011

{ sherbet pips giveaway }

I love, love, love Sherbet Pips by Aneela Hoey for Moda Fabrics. I'm sure you've all seen it by now, and let me tell you that it's seriously one of the cutest lines that has come out in a while. I just love the little girls on the scooters! I was lucky enough to snag two charm packs of Sherbet Pips from Above All Fabric when Melanie got a surprise early shipment of it a month or so ago. And, while I love it so, I want to share the love with you. I have so much to do over the next few months, so I want to give both charm packs to one of my readers who will be able to enjoy playing with them sooner rather than later. Besides, that will just give me an excuse to buy more when it hits the store this spring, right? ;)

Here are the details on how to win!

{**ONE**} Become a follower of my blog! Then come back and leave a comment on this post letting me know. If you already are a follower just leave a comment stating that.

{**TWO**} Follow me on twitter and leave a comment. If you already follow me there, just leave a comment stating that you do.

{**THREE**} Tweet about the giveaway on twitter. Please include my handle @oliveandollie in your tweet, then come back and leave a comment stating that.

{**FOUR**} Become a fan of Olive and Ollie on Facebook. Then come back and leave a comment below. If you already are a fan, just leave a comment stating that.

That's it! Please be sure to leave a separate comment for each entry, for a total of four chances to win. The giveaway will be open until Friday, January 28, 2011 when I'll draw a winner using the random number generator. I'm happy to ship internationally as well, so everybody has a chance to play!

{ happy mail }

Don't you just love getting happy mail? You know, no bills, no junk, just sweet little packages with all sorts of goodies inside? I've been lucky enough to get a few the past couple of weeks, and I can't wait to share more with you, but here's what was inside one nice little package that arrived on my doorstep.

The books are Denyse Schmidt Quilts: 30 Colorful Quilt and Patchwork Projects by
Denyse Schmidt and Elizabeth Hartman's of Oh, Fransson! The Practical Guide to Patchwork: New Basics for the Modern Quilter. They are both great books and here are some of my favorite projects from each.

Now to find the time to actually make one of these. :)

Thursday, January 13, 2011

{ work in process : scrappy wonky quilt }

A lot of people have been asking about the blocks that are shown in my quilt design wall tutorial, so I thought I'd give them their own post. I'm working on a queen sized scrappy wonky block quilt, which started as one meager little wonky block almost a year ago. And I'm proud to say it's finally almost done. Here are some photos of the work in progress.

The blocks measure 12.5 inches and are made out of only scraps from my stash. And I've got 30 of them! I'm not sure what the back will be like, but it will most likely be pieced.

I'm almost done with the construction of the rows now and then I'll be adding a boarder, in Kona Snow, to the top, bottom, and sides. And I'm so excited about the quilting of this one, because it's going to be done by the quilting ninja herself, Angela Walters of Quilting is my Therapy fame. Eeeekkk! I can't wait to see what she does with it!

Friday, January 7, 2011

{ DIY tutorial: how to make a quilt design wall }

If you're looking for an inexpensive, portable, and easy way to lay out and design your quilt blocks, here's an easy do-it-yourself tutorial. For less than $50, you can make a lightweight, portable design wall that measures 8 feet by 4 feet. And if you can find your flannel on sale, it's easily made for around $40! Here's what you need:

{ materials }
5 yards cotton flannel
8 ft. x 4 ft. x 2 in. foam insulation (I used Foamular by Owens Corning)
Fabri-Tac Permanent Fabric Adhesive
straight pins
staple gun and staples
quilt gloves (optional)

{ directions }

1. Cut flannel into 3 pieces, each approximately 60 inches in length.

2. Place two pieces of flannel, right sides together, and sew along the selvedge.

Be sure to use pins to keep the layers together.

3. Stitch a seam. I recommend wearing quilting gloves if you have them because they make it easier to move the fabric through the machine.

4. Repeat steps 2 and 3 with the third piece of flannel. You should now have a sewn piece of flannel that measures approximately 60 inches x 120 inches.

5. Iron the flannel to remove any wrinkles and press seams open.

6. Place the foam insulation on a table and lay the flannel piece over it, seam side down. Try to smooth out any wrinkles as you place it over the insulation.

This step is easier if you have a couple of helpers. :)

7. Find the center of the insulation. Place pins into the foam to tack down flannel, from the middle to the end of one edge. Smooth out wrinkles as you go.

8. Pull back flannel from unpinned side of foam and start gluing. Apply glue sparingly, section by section, and smooth over any wrinkles as you place the flannel down.

9. Repeat step 8, working from the center out towards the edge of the foam. Place a few pins throughout each section after it's been glued to hold fabric in place while it dries.

10. At the edge of the insulation, pin fabric taught to the foam. (There's no need to glue here, since you'll be finishing the wall with the staple gun.)

11. Pin the flannel taught along the side edges of the glued section of the insulation.

12. Remove pins from the other side of the foam and repeat steps 8-11.

13. Insert pins along the entire length of the covered quilt wall, just to hold the fabric in place while the glue dries. (Fabri-Tac dries pretty quickly, but the pins will hold the fabric in place after we flip the wall over to finish the edges.)

14. Flip the wall over.

15. Finish the edges by stapling the flannel to the back of the wall, using a staple gun.

16. Pull the flannel taught along the edge and staple into place.

17. At the corners, miter the edge by folding one side in, and then the other, hold taught and staple to secure.

18. Let the glue dry and remove pins. You're done!

These quilt design walls are great, and I now have two in my studio. I made the first one about 6 months ago, and have gotten so much use out of it. They're light weight, so I can easily move them around, and I can also stack them in front of each other to conserve space.
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