Category Archives: Quilting

Kapaia Stitchery: A celebration of colors

It’s a sickness. Every trip to a new land is another opportunity to search out and explore a new fabric store. Don’t judge; because I would bet big money you have experienced the same. ¬†Pretty sure you too have left a spouse or offspring sweltering on the porch while you got cozy with a new textile emporium, am I right? Just take a look at the two abandoned guys on this veranda. Do they look like they are having the vacation of a lifetime on Kauai? Neither of them are my husband; but only because he was at home tending the dog.

Kapaia Stitchery on Kauai

Truthfully, this time I did not drop a big wad at Kapaia Stitchery. It is not because I have suddenly developed self-restraint; it has more to do with my inability to quilt. I have tried a few times. And I do get excited about the colors and designs. But the stumbling block for me is getting across the finish line. So many pieces of fabric, all of which need cutting. And then stitching up again. Yikes, just give me a garment any day.


Despite my inability to construct one myself, I fell in love with this quilt. Who doesn’t love turtles? And there are so many shades of blue and green in Hawaii that this quilt would be an awesome way to bring that island-feel into your life when the temps are below freezing or the incessant rain is driving you mad.


And look at these stinkin’ cute little Hawaiian shirts on a quilt! Complete with buttons!


In addition to fabric, Kapaia Stitchery also carries aloha-wear. I tried hard to find the perfect dress for my DGD, but no luck. I was pretty intrigued some of the cute bags they carried, and some of those almost jumped into my shopping cart.


I got so distracted by all the colors, quilts, and apparel in this store I only took one shot of a fabric aisle. Trust me – there are plenty more of these – but it is fitting I took a pix of some of the blues that are all around you in Hawaii.


Someone else overwhelmed by the possibilities in this store.


I would rather eat pineapples than have them on my bed. Just sayin’.


This store reminds me a little of my sewing studio. So.much.fabric. My favorite section was their collection of Japanese fabrics. Stunning. Too bad I was so enthralled I forgot to take a picture of that aisle. ūüôĀ

Fabric purchased at Kapaia Stitchery

These 2 pieces were my only pitiful purchase from Kapai Stitchery. The adorable Japanese print is going to become a cute twirly dress for DGD, and I could not resist the gorgeous blues & greens in the batik print. Not sure what wants to become, but it makes me feel like I am looking at the ocean even when I am home in Seattle. I enjoyed my visit, Kauai, and I would encourage you to drop by Kapai Stitchery if you find yourself on this island. Mahalo!

Happy sewing!






Goofy giraffes for a new baby

You may have noticed that I have not been posting recently about my projects. Honestly, I was sewing like crazy in July and August, but much of it was for my yet-to-be-born, darling GD. Since I was hosting a baby shower for the darling GD’s mommy (my eldest DD!), and I wanted her gifts to be a surprise, and I know my DD reads my blog religiously…well, you get the picture. ūüėČ

Have I mentioned before I am not a quilter? As in, I have started more than one quilt, but I think my completion rate has been a consistent zero. Until I found out I was going to be a GM. I think you must go thru another hormone change when you find¬†out you are going to be a GM – the kind that causes¬†you to do crazy things you would never otherwise consider. Like quilting, for example. I saw an adorable quilt hanging on the wall of a local quilt store. This same quilt store carries a fantastic selection of hard-to-find-thread, which explains what I was doing in the store in the first place. ūüôā ANYWAY, I was mesmerized by this quilt, and decided my first GD had to have it. ¬†

Giraffe quilt  










Here it is, finally a quilt completed by moi. I seriously have to bow to all quilters out there – this was hard work. All I could think of while I was working on it was how much easier it is to make garments. First off, the paper piecing kicked my butt. I kept having trouble getting the chunks of fabric the correct shape to cover the intended shape on the template. If you don’t know what I mean by paper piecing, ask someone who actually knows something about¬†quilting.¬†Believe me when I say that it¬†is kind of like rubbing your stomach and patting your head, upside down. Not so fun. Then, let’s talk about how crappy the directions were. Three of the four templates in the pattern included the seam allowance, but for some insane reason one did not. Of course, I¬†did not notice this significant detail until 4 of the 5¬†giraffe necks were completed. Yeah.¬†Get a copy editor, fools. And a pattern tester would be a good idea too!

Sigh. It was really hard, and I was insanely frustrated more than once during the construction phase. But I finished it before the baby shower, and I bet when I see that darling little bundle of cuteness that is my GD sitting on it, I won’t remember my¬†tribulations for a second.


Happy sewing!

Maris Olsen

First time quilter

First quilt by young sewing student











What a great accomplishment – a completed quilt! Personally, I have started more than one quilt, but have not been so successful with actually finishing them. My young student, Kathryn, has been working on this quilt for the past few sewing sessions, and today she finished it up. What a great job she did! She coordinated a nice selection of fabrics, laid them out in a pleasing arrangement, and stitched them together nice and accurately, too. There were lots of decisions along the way, a bit o’ ripping, and plenty of hard work. Today was the day we stitched on¬†the binding, and called it good. I am really proud of Kathryn. As I mentioned earlier, actually completing quilts is not my strong suit, so I bow to anyone who can cross the finish line.

Great job, Kathryn – keep sewing!


Happy sewing!

Maris Olsen