Wednesday, December 26, 2012


The following is an actual converstion between my six year old nephew and myself:

Me:  C, what did Santa bring you for Christmas?
Nephew: Coal
Me: Coal?
Nephew: Yes, Coal.
Me: What are you going to do with it? Are you going to use it to heat the house so it will be more energy efficient?
Nephew: I don't know...I haven't decided yet.

ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha
I love this kid...he never ceases to amaze me.

Hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas - Happy Wednesday.
- Kat  :)

Monday, December 24, 2012


The embroidery club that I belong to has a holiday party each year where we exchange gifts. This year I made this super cute Santa tree topper from Happy Hollow Designs.
Quilted tree topper
Actually I made two of them because I wanted one for my self. 

I have to admit that while the Santa tree toppers turned out cute, the directions were a bit confusing to me. I had to read them multiple times, and I really needed to rely on the photos to figure out how to piece Santa together.

Quilted tree topper
A girls gotta have hot fix crystals!!!

Santa went together really fast, but the beard was challenging. The directions called for the Santa cone to be sewn up first, and for the beard to be hand stitched on.  I'm not a fan of hand sewing, so I left the cone flat and machine sewed on the beard.  Then I sewed the cone up, and only had to hand sew on a few strands of beard to cover up the seam.

I found the glasses at a local hobby store. I think they just complete him. The buttons I had in my stash.
Quilted tree topper

While technically this Santa is supposed to be a tree topper, I think he makes an excellent centerpiece.

Merry Christmas...have a magical Holiday with your loved ones.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Fun with Zippers

I've been sick with bronchitis for a few weeks, but I finally snuck down into my studio and had some fun with Zippers!!

I love the look of zipper flowers, so I made this poinsettia for my MIL. I loved it so much that I made a few more for gifts.
Zipper Poinsettia

If you are going to make zipper flowers, I highly recommend the Whimsy Pinwheel tool from Kari Me Away.  You put pins through the holes in the tool, and then wrap the zipper around the pins. It's soo much easier than trying to hold the zipper with one hand, while twisting with the other. This tool free's up both hands.
Whimsey Pinwheel Tool

I also made these adorable zipper hearts for two teenage girls in my extended family.  I put them on corded necklaces and mailed them out as a surprise. Both girls loved them.
Zipper Heart

Of course I also made one for myself.
Zipper Necklace

Happy Sewing!!
 - Kat  :)

Friday, November 30, 2012

Stop Licking!

Cali has allergies. She always has...but the past few years they've gotten worse. She is constantly licking her feet. Which of course is the MOST annoying sound on the planet. Trust me on this.

We've tried a lot of different things...prescription meds, special food, sprays, salt baths, cremes, steroids, food additives. Some times the licking settles down for a bit..but nothing seems to keep it at bay for long.

Today Cali was up since 5am licking away. Yes 5am. Sigh. It does seem like her allergies have gotten worse over the past few weeks, and since most of the plant life outside is dormant, I'm blaming her current food. Ergo...I'm headed to the pet store today to buy yet another brand of "allergy free" food to see if that helps.

Does anyone have any suggestions? I am out of ideas on this one.  Have you found something that has helped your dog? If so...please comment below and let me know what it was.

Kat  :)

Friday, November 16, 2012

Woof Woof...let me in.

Last Sunday DH and I spent the better half of the day basting my niece's quilt (yes he actually helped me baste the quilt), and installing a doggie door. Side note for my Dad - the door completely locks from the inside...keeping out snow and intruders. Heck I can't even fit through unless a tiny toddler is going to rob us..I think we'll be okay.

Quilt Basting
Basting the quilt.

DH had been researching doggie doors for a while and Sunday morning he went out to buy dog food and came back with the doggie door. (Yes he remembered the dog food too). Being an engineer, DH is super handy, so I had no doubt that he would be able to install it himself (I basically handed him tools, and cleaned up the dust). Still it was a little scary watching him actually cut a HOLE into the side of our house.

I was not prepared for the amount of dust this would create. Call me crazy but somehow I didn't realize that cutting a hole into our house would completely fill my kitchen with saw dust. There was so much dust that the smoke detectors went off. Good thing we basted that quilt first!

Doggie Door Installation
Doggie Door Installation
DH was a super perfectionist about getting everything level, he added in extra support boards under the door, inside the opening of the house. He also ended up doing some intricate cuts into our siding so that the door would be flush with the side of the house. So the installation took us a few hours.

Then he had to make a ramp for the dogs to put outside of the house so that they can actually reach the door. I napped during this part. I'm such a good helper. I think the dogs are afraid of the ramp.  This is going to take a lot of training. I'm sure Cali will be the first one to use the door. She loves being outside...and being deaf she won't be afraid of the noise the door flaps make as she runs through.
Doggie door ramp
The ramp.

I tried to get the dogs to use the door last nite. They both looked at me like I was a crazy woman trying to get them hooked on crack. Hmmm this might be harder than I originally thought.

Do you have a doggy door? If so..please share your training tips with me. Tonite I'm going to try peanut butter..if that doesn't work..I'm breaking out the big guns....yup, hot dogs. 

Wish me luck!
- Kat  :)

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Swim, Run, Dance

It's been a whirlwind few weeks. So much has been going on that I actually lost my voice!

Chicago, IL
Me having lots of fun.
 DH and I have been traveling every weekend..which means I have had zero time for sewing :( boooo. But I can't complain because all of the trips have been wonderful.

Here's a recap of all the fun I've been having. Be warned..this is a long post, with lots of photos. I basically crammed 3 posts into one, but I tired to keep one as brief as possible.

First we went up to the Dells in WI with DH's brother, our SIL and their two kids. An indoor water park with two small kids is a blast!  And the hotel also had trick or treating for the kids. The entire weekend was filled with swimming and giggles. I can't wait to go back.
Halloween Costumes
My nephew and niece, all ready for trick or treating.

The next weekend I drove to Chicago with my BFF to run in the Monster Dash Race. We both competed in the 5K race, which was Halloween themed. The race was extremely well organized and we both plan on running it again next year.
Pretty Girls in Chicago, IL
My BFF and I in downtown Chicago on race day.

Pretty Girls in Chicago, IL
We are just soo cute, we can't help it.

Chicago IL
Me in Chicago, IL.

Monster Dash Race
My first Medal!!!!! 

The very next weekend DH and I flew out to Napa Valley, CA. Yup,..that's right the very next weekend.(soooo much packing). Neither of us had been before, and we were just amazed at the beauty. California is an allergy free zone for me...thus it's my favorite state.

DH & I toured a few wineries while we were out there...and I actually found a wine that I LOVE (I don't like the taste of alcohol, so me drinking wine and loving it, is a pretty big deal in my world).

The below photo was taken at Nickel & Nickel Winery, and while they didn't have any wine that I liked, I could have toured their grounds all day. They were immaculate.
Napa Valley, CA
Nickel & Nickel winery

I can only imagine how magical Napa Valley must look in the spring time. We learned a lot about wine and grapes, and even got to pick grapes right off the vine to eat. Let me tell you..they were much tastier than any grapes I've ever had from the supermarket.  #amazing

Napa Valley, CA
Wine grapes

The highlight of the trip to Napa was attending the Halloween Pagan Ball at Castello Di Amorosa. It was there that I finally found a wine that I like (thanks to my new friend Cami who suggested I try the Fantasia wine). They also have the best grape juice I've ever had. I may or may not have purchased four bottles of grape juice.

At the ball we enjoyed free flowing wine, delicious foods, and amazing company. Not to mention dancing, a haunted cave tour, and fortune telling.
Halloween Pagan Ball
Give a girl a few glasses of wine.....
The castle was gorgeous, and with every turn I took I saw new details in the castle that impressed me more and more. If you are ever in the Napa Valley area, I highly recommend a tour of Castello di Amorosa.

With all the fun, the beautiful landscaping, warm weather, great friends and zero allergies...I still can't believe that I got on the plane and came back to WI.

Next up....basting and quilting my niece's quilt. Oh, and chopping/stacking up firewood for winter.

Happy Sewing everyone!
- Kat  :)

Friday, October 19, 2012

Off with her head!!!!

I finished my Halloween costume!!! Okay so I don't look very vicious or villain like (especially in the below photos since I'm twirling around like a princess), but I'm happy with it just the same.

Even though my dress form needs some work...I was a brave little sewist, and attempted draping for the first time. I think I did fairly well. Draping wasn't nearly as scary as I thought it was going to be. In was kinda fun.  

You'll notice I'm not wearing a crown. That's because I'm wearing the costume in a 5K race...and I don't want to be running with my hands on my head trying not to loose the crown the entire time. (I might make a crown later for a party that I'm attending..we'll see).  

I'll be wearing this costume while participating in theMonster Dash 5K in Chicago...along the lake front. I expect it to be chilly and..well windy (it is Chicago after all). With that in mind I made the entire costume a little bit big so that I can wear a few layers of clothing underneath if I need to.  The tutu and the top are separate pieces and I used velcro for the closures on both. I decided velcro would not only leave me with more "breathing room" but it would be softer on my back while running.

I did not make a wand...but I think it's still magical. And I when I wear it for the Halloween Party..I'll also add in makeup. I'll post more photos after the race on Sunday.

Have a great weekend everyone!
Queen of Hearts Costume

Queen of Hearts Costume

Illuminate your quilts

Have you ever wondered how to add lights a quilt? My latest guest post on Patched Works blog, is a step by step tutorial on how to illuminate your quilts. It's easier than you think.

If you add lights to your quilt, please tweet a photo to me @calicocalidsgns...I'd love to see them.

Click here to read the tutorial.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Princess Dress

Earlier this week I was walking to my car and the UPS truck pulled up.

I could see the Disney box sitting on his dash.

He opened the door.

I threw my arms in the air and yelled out "PRINCESS DRESS!!!"

The UPS man asked if the dress was for me (since clearly I was wicked excited about it). I told him that the dress is for my niece but "I'm totally gonna wear the tiara before I give it to her." I had the biggest smile on my face during all of this. He laughed out loud and smiled too. I think I made his day with my enthusiasm for the dress. Either that or he now thinks I'm the craziest lady on his route.  ;)

The dress, by the way is AMAZING. Can't wait to see L's face when she opens it.

Princess Kat

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

WIP Wednesday - 10/10/12

I've done lots of sewing this week. I even completed a few projects including the quilt top for my niece's quilt. Hooray!!! (Now I can start on the back).

I finished the tutu portion of my Halloween costume. Any guesses as to what I'm going to be??
Halloween costume 2012
 I have to admit, I'm a little nervous about making the top that goes along with the tutu. I don't have a lot of garment sewing experience...but I do enjoy learning new things so I'm sure I'll figure it out. Eventually.

Last but not least, I finished this light-up Halloween wall hanging. I love the unexpected surprise when people see the lights.
Quilt wall hanging with lights

Quilt wall hanging with lights

Want to learn how to add lights to your quilt? Check out my free tutorial over at Patched Works Blog.

Happy sewing everyone!!!
-Kat  :)

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

WIP Wednesday - 10/3/12

This week I'm working on two quilted wall hangings that will be featured over on Patched Works blog. Here's a sneak peek of what they look like.


 Tonite I'm going to finish up the quilting and then bind them. I always hand sew on the back of my binding, and I got a good idea during this week's #talknt (sewing chat on twitter). 

I'm going to use monofilament thread for the back! We'll see how it goes. Wish me luck.

Happy Sewing
- Kat

About Me

My photo
Welcome to Calico Cali Designs! I’m Kat, digitizer and sewing enthusiast. I learned how to digitize in 2010 from master digitizer Walter Floriani…it was an amazing experience. Soon instead of spending my time sewing, quilting and stitching out other people’s embroidery designs, I was sewing, quilting and stitching out my own embroidery designs. I created this blog, not only as a place to share my embroidery designs, but also as a place to share all the things I make, sew, paint, embroider, and create. You’ll see posts about my life, my studio, patterns I’ve sewn and products I’ve tested. I hope you enjoy reading these posts as much as I’ve enjoyed creating them. Follow me on twitter . Hugs!! – Kat