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Friday, July 22, 2011

Lil' Sis's Favorite Things Quilt

Lil' Sis's Favorite Things Quilt 1

Last month, lil' sis helped clear a large space in my library/office/spare room. I tossed out mounds of receipts and credit card bills that dated to the late 1990s. On June 13th, I woke up and marveled at the bare space leading to the bathroom. Boxes had blocked part of the entrance for way too long.

So that night, I decided to get started on a quilt for lil' sis, a combo thank you and birthday present. Disney princesses! Hello Kitty! Penguins! Polar bears! Oh my!

It's a quilt of all her favorite things.

I had been stockpiling the fabrics for quite a while and narrowed it down to just the blue fabrics with some pink Hello Kitty fabric to play off Sleeping Beauty's pink dress. For the back, I used an old twin fitted sheet that had penguins and polar bears. I took off the elastic and the sheet was large enough to cover the whole back with some left over. Plus, it's flannel so the quilt will be nice and warm.

This is Ramanda, my knock-off Cabbage Patch Kid doll that I've had since fourth grade.

Lil' Sis's Favorite Things Quilt 2

I had some Winnie the Pooh, turtles, and strawberry fabrics too, but in the end decided they didn't really fit. The fabrics ranged from cotton to flannel. The Hello Kitty fabrics were ordered from Hong Kong and feel sort of like barkcloth, although I'm not really sure what they're made of. The colors are vibrant, the fabric doesn't shrink, and it's Hello Kitty!

Lil' Sis's Favorite Things Quilt 3

I ended up cutting vertical strips of 6 1/2 inches. The Disney princesses were a little staggered and cutting them horizontally wouldn't have worked. Cutting squares would have been too laborious. So the width was enough to have two princesses in each strip, even though they were off-center in parts. I then cut the rest of the fabrics the same width. Sewed the ends together. Laid them out to about 60 inches in length and cut that.

Lil' Sis's Favorite Things Quilt 4

After playing around with placement, except for the Disney princesses, I tried not to have the same fabric side by side. The other requirement was that each vertical strip had to have one princess in it. I finished piecing the quilt top on June 30th. Lil' sis ruined her surprise when she came over one night while I was working on it.

Lil' Sis's Favorite Things Quilt 5

Sandwiching the quilt together. The batting is a warm and natural combo of mostly cotton with a bit of polyester, 45 by 60 inches, or a crib-sized quilt.

Lil' Sis's Favorite Things Quilt 6

Since lil' sis spoiled her surprise, I asked her if she wanted a binding and she said yes. I decided on this dark blue to contrast with all the pale blue. It's actually remnants that my youngest aunt had given me. I cut out 5 inch strips of all the remnants and sewed them together to make longer strips. After being folded in half and then again over the back side, the binding would only be about an inch wide.

Lil' Sis's Favorite Things Quilt 7

I just quilted down the sides of each seam, using masking tape to keep it as straight as possible.

I finally finished the quilt a month and a day later on July 14th.

Lil' Sis's Favorite Things Quilt 8

I took pictures right away, of course.

Lil' Sis's Favorite Things Quilt 9

Then gave the quilt a nice wash and fluff dry. Even though the batting said 2%, there was no shrinkage. The seams all held and the fabric didn't wrinkle or anything. So I was happy to see that it held up well in the wash.

Lil' Sis's Favorite Things Quilt 10

Close-ups of the various fabrics.

Lil' Sis's Favorite Things Quilt 11

Lil' Sis's Favorite Things Quilt 12

Lil' Sis's Favorite Things Quilt 13

I hate to waste fabric, so I rolled up the excess into the binding. It was a little bulky at points, but not too noticeable in the end. Of course, I could have trimmed off the excess, but it's a quirk of mine to keep it all intact as much as possible.

Lil' Sis's Favorite Things Quilt 14

Folds up pretty nicely too.

Lil' Sis's Favorite Things Quilt 15

The back.

Lil' Sis's Favorite Things Quilt 16

And Ramanda modeling the front again. The crib size quilt is large enough to sleep under, but small enough to still be a good lap quilt for curling in front of the TV or reading a book.

Lil' Sis's Favorite Things Quilt 17

Folded up again and ready to give to lil' sis.

Lil' Sis's Favorite Things Quilt 18

I showed it to WeezerMonkey who came over the other night and she immediately remarked that it's a quilt of all of lil' sis's favorite things.

How did she know? Is she one of her "fans"? Said lil' sis who insists she has a fan base. Ha! No. I think it's fairly obvious they're her favorite things when my friend saw something as disparate as Disney princesses, Hello Kitty and penguins. :P

I had asked lil' sis early on if she wanted to pick out the fabrics for her quilt and she said she wanted me to surprise her. But what if she didn't like it? If I made it for her, of course she'd like it, she said. Aww.

Still, it was nice to see her so happy and excited when I finally presented the quilt to her. She said it turned out like a real quilt, much nicer than what she expected from seeing it in progress.

This is my sixth quilt. The quilt is completely hand sewn, I didn't use a sewing machine at all. Various fabrics on top, flannel backing, cotton and polyester blend batting. Final dimensions are 45 by 60 inches.

My other quilting and craft projects.

1 year ago today,
2 years ago today, Tra Xa (Vietnamese Lemongrass Tea).
3 years ago today, Mi Hoanh Thanh (Vietnamese Wonton Noodle Soup).
4 years ago today, Vietnamese American-owned Cajun crawfish at The Boiling Crab - Alhambra (Valley Blvd.).


  1. i told you when i came to stay with you that you had a major gift! sewing by hand!!! you are a wonder chi wc.

    the end product is so precious, it is such a heartfelt and thoughtful gift.

  2. What a thoughtful and wonderful gift! I love it that you've been collecting bits of your sister's favorite things.

  3. You have a great eye for arranging the colors! What a lovely quilt. :O)

  4. what a sweet and thoughtful sister you are! that is such an amazing and heartfelt gift! :)

  5. Lan,
    I sew by hand because I can't figure out how to use the sewing machine my mom gave me. And she even drew arrows for which direction I should thread it!

    I've acquired way too many piles of fabric and need to use them up!

    La Takahashi,



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