A Tea Cozy for Every Season: Valentine’s and Spring

“A tea cozy for every season,” requested my mom when we were talking about making quilts for family members. My mom loves tea and drinks a pot of tea every afternoon–no, she’s not even English!–so it really is a perfect gift.  For Christmas, I gave her the first seasonal tea cozy for the winter holidays, which you can see in my post Finishes New and Old. Today I sewed on the bottom binding, finishing the next seasonal tea cozy, which should take her into summer. I used Yvonne’s (Quilting Jetgirl) tea cozy tutorial, so the tea cozy is completely reversible and is suitable for two seasons in one!

One side is perfect for Valentine’s Day, since I used my Key to my Heart pattern:

tea cozy valentine's day

The reverse side features a bicycle inside the heart, which I think will be perfect for spring. My mom also loves bicycling, and she and my dad are known to plan vacations that include cycling from bed and breakfast to bed and breakfast in awesome European countries, where they surely enjoy actual tea time.

bicycling tea cozy

I thought about putting both hearts on one side of the tea cozy, but decided make one the “inside” and one the “outside”, with a coordinating solid backing. This way, one side of the tea cozy can be perfect for Valentine’s Day…

tea cozy valentines dayThen after February passes, you can just flip the tea cozy inside out and the other side is perfect for spring.

spring tea cozy bicycle

I technically made the Valentine’s Day side on the “inside” since I figure the bicycle will probably be shown more often. When turned to the Valentine’s Day side, the tea cozy is a little bit snug on my teapot (as you can see in the photo above), but I’m not too worried. I know my mom has a few different tea pots and I’m sure it will fit on one of them!

Now all I have to do is encourage my kids to finish their cards for Grandma (my mom) & PopPop (my dad) and get this all in the mail so it arrives in New Jersey before the 14th. I’m excited that I finished it in time, and hope my mom loves it as much as I do. This “tea cozy for every season” project is making me want a tea cozy of my own!

valentine's tea cozy

I’m linking up with Crazy Mom Quilts for Finish it Up Friday.

Color Inspiration Thursday {36}

The snow just keeps on coming. Just about every other day for the past two weeks, we have had a snowstorm drop another 6-12″ of snow. We live in a veritable snow fortress! I know a lot of New Englanders are getting tired of it, but I admit–I still love it. It’s so pristine and gorgeous, and to be honest, having to dig tunnels to get out our front door is living a childhood dream for me. Walking down those paths with snow towering on either side is just so cool! My children love it, too, so I won’t be complaining.

Loving the snow  doesn’t mean I wouldn’t mind a little getaway to the tropics. Here are my final photos from our vacation in Cozumel and Belize early last month. Color palettes are created using Play Crafts’ Palette Builder 2.1 and my photographs.

green palm leaf color palette

Corresponding Kona cottons from left to right:
Palm, Ivy, Grasshopper, Lime, O.D. Green, Olive

Corresponding Aurifil thread from left to right:
5021 – Light Grey
2887 – Olive
5018 – Grass Green
2888 – Fern Green
4173 – Dk Olive
5015 – Gold Yellow

With all this white, I really needed some green. We are nearing the time of year when I feel that strong desire to grow something–anything! and often get my seeds planted under a grow light. There’s something about the tiny green sprouts of new life that help make the last cold days of winter linger a little less closely. This color palette gives me a good dose of green during a very green-less season!

belize flowers color palette

Corresponding solids from left to right:
Bella Cherry, Kona Wine, Kona Hunter Green, Kona Basil, Bella Avocado, Bella Popsicle, Bella Cayenne

Corresponding Aurifil thread from left to right:
2395 – Pumpkin Spice
2355 – Rust
5021 – Light Grey
2892 – Pine
2887 – Olive
2230 – Med Peony
2270 – Paprika

These bright beauties were spotted at Bacab Eco Park in Belize. Bright flowers sure know how to brighten a snowy day. I added an extra color to this palette, because I really wanted the pinks and reds to be well represented. In playing around with this palette, I also discovered that Play Crafts has been updating their Palette Builder! Now not only can you get matching Kona Cottons, but you can also get matching Moda Bella solids OR opt for “All Solids”, which will match the closest color regardless of collection. I love this option, since I’ve noticed that some of the Kona matches aren’t always true to the color in the palette/photo, so adding the entire pool of Moda solids to the mix is a great idea! This makes the available matches quite long, though, so I plan to include a little of each in my Color Inspiration posts each week. I most likely will opt for “All Solids” and will list the best matching fabric solids for each palette, in addition to the matching Aurifil thread. Quilty color overload!

Do you mix and match your solids when you quilt, or do you opt for all one brand?

February Goals {ALYoF}

January flew by, but somehow I managed to meet my sewing goal for the month. Now we’re on to February, an already short month. To top it off, QuiltCon is in the middle of the month and there is a TON to do before I head to Austin. I have been debating which project to choose for this month of A Lovely Year of Finishes (ALYoF) and I’ve decided NOT to choose any of my QuiltCon prep projects (just in case I have to abort mission and go to the conference without newly handmade accessories) and instead to choose Maddie’s Rainbow Jellyroll quilt as my goal. All I have left to do is square up the quilt and bind it. Sounds doable, even though I’ll most likely be working on it after I return from QuiltCon.

rainbow jellyroll quiltI quilted it with straight lines 1/4″ from each seam, in coordinating colors of Aurifil 40wt thread. I am LOVING it and clearly, so is my little helper. This quilt is for Maddie, but Max certainly had a grand old time rolling around with it during the photo shoot while Maddie was in preschool.

rainbow jellyroll quilt

rainbow jellyroll quilt

I like how the quilt lines look on the back WAY more than I thought I would. I was all worried they would look off kilter, but it looks fine to me.

I like how the quilt lines look on the back WAY more than I thought I would. I was all worried they would look off kilter, but it looks fine to me (don’t mind the fluff balls!).

my little helper in the rainbow jellyroll quilt

rainbow jellyroll quilt

rainbow jellyroll quiltI’m linking up with the February goals for ALYoF.

T Minus 16 Days Until QuiltCon!

In my early planning phases for QuiltCon, I didn’t realize how much preparation would go into the trip. Now that February is actually here, reality is hitting. I initially mentally blocked off February as “QuiltCon Prep” thinking it would mostly involve creating and ordering business cards, making a cool bag, and psyching myself up for my first public quilt-world appearance.


I’m registered for two awesome workshops at QuiltCon–Playing with Value with Cheryl Arkison and Off the Grid: Creating Alternate Layouts with Lee Heinrich–not to mention lectures by Carolyn Friedlander, Heather Jones, and Meg Cox, which means that my first quilt conference experience is sure to be amazing, but also that I have a lot of work to do before I head to Austin! So far, I’ve narrowed my QuiltCon to-do list down to:

  • Order pin-back buttons
  • Download QuiltCon app
  • Prep for classes
    Buy fabric for Alternate Grid
    -Make blocks
    -Cut scraps for Playing with Value
  • Make Super Tote
  • Make quilted belt for QuiltCon AlterEgo
  • Order business cards
  • Make Noodle-head pouch for holding buttons
  • Buy a new moleskin notebook & micron pens
  • Make a lanyard?
  • Make a list of people to meet (let me know if you’re going and want to me added to my “stalk until I meet them” list!)

As you can see, I’ve crossed a couple things off my list but still have quite a bit to do. For Lee’s Off the Grid workshop, we need to take 5-20 premade quilt blocks in addition to other bits of fabric for sashing and background. I’m wicked excited (pardon my Northeast terminology there), and really want to create something fabulous. I also don’t really have any stray blocks hanging around (a side effect of being a newbie quilter?) which meant one thing: new project!

To put my mind a bit at ease, I snuck in a stop at my local quilt shop (LQS) Fiddlehead Artisan Supply before today’s big snowstorm got going and picked up some half-yards in my color palette of choice.

fabric for quiltcon

I’m planning to work out of my white and grey background comfort zone and go with a navy blue background and negative space with these gorgeous pops of color. I probably will add more turquoise and perhaps a bit of light grey as some low volume additions, but I’m going to shop my stash as much as possible for those. I have not yet decided on a block design, although I’m leaning toward making five or more different blocks with this similar color scheme. If you have a favorite block you would suggest, I’m definitely still open to ideas!

fabric and noodlehead super tote pattern
from L to R: Alison Glass Sun Print Bike Path in Magenta, Joel Dewberry Bungalow Swallow Study in Lavender, American Jane Pindots in Leaf Green, Alison Glass Sun Print Bike Path in Leaf Green, Cotton and Steel Basics, XOXO in Dandelion, Super Tote pattern by Noodle-head; bottom: FQ of unknown teal thready fabric

I also want to make a Super Tote for carrying all of my crap precious supplies around QuiltCon, so I picked up the pattern while at Fiddlehead. Now that I have the pattern, I can begin to wrap my head around what will be involved in making it. I have not yet decided on what fabric I will use for the bag, but I’m going to try to shop my stash as much as possible for that, too. I want to have a little budget left for shopping at QuiltCon.

What am I missing? Are you going to QuiltCon? Any tips for a first-timer?