Patchwork scrap quilt – 8 years of scraps!

My patchwork scrap quilt is finished! This is the most time intensive quilt I’ve made to date (so many squares!) and includes scraps from the past eight years of sewing. It was a serious labor of love, and I considered chucking the whole thing out the window three or four times before it was finished.


I didn’t want to use strip piecing because I was hoping for a more random arrangement of squares, so each square was individually cut and painstakingly arranged (I always overthink that part!) I sewed the front blocks together using interfacing, which I had read was a shortcut for piecing small squares. It ended up being a major pain and if I were to redo the quilt I think I’d skip it the next time around. The back piecing was done without interfacing and I feel like it went more quickly while still being just as accurate.


The fabrics I used are not only quilting scraps but scraps from dresses I made for my girls as toddlers and the overalls I made for my son’s first Easter. There are scraps from bags and baby blankets and Christmas gifts… when I look at this quilt I am flooded with memories of all of the things I’ve made, which is a pretty great feeling. I also got the added bonus of majorly cleaning out my fabric cabinet. I cut all of the remaining scraps down into manageable and regularly shaped pieces and folded them neatly, and tossed all the tiny pieces. It’s nice to finally feel like I’m not drowning in fabric (for the moment).


The quilt is backed in a super soft double gauze cloud 9 cotton with a strip of pieced squares down the middle. I love how soft it is, but it did wrinkle a little bit underneath while I was quilting it together so it’s a little wonky. As is everything I make. I think the softness makes up for the imperfections. It’s bound in a crazy patterned bias binding that I made… I figured the total lack of cohesion in the fabric patterns called for something extra outrageous as binding.


Hooray for finished quilts, hooray for using up years worth of scraps! It’s my new favorite blanket.

Patchwork scrap quilt – 8 years of scraps!

Frozen family halloween costumes – Anna, Elsa & Kristoff

Another year, another set of Disney Halloween costumes! Last year for Halloween the kids decided that they all wanted to dress as characters from Frozen. They weren’t into the hype when it was a new movie but it grew on them and the girls especially were very excited to dress as sisters. I was excited for another chance to sew up some movie inspired princess dresses since I had so much fun the year before. All of the costumes were made without patterns and with the aim of creating garments that would be as screen accurate as possible while still being comfortable and wearable for kids. On to the photos!

Frozen family costume

I constructed Anna’s costume in four separate pieces, a long sleeved mandarin collared blouse, a vest, a circle skirt and a cape. The blouse fastens with two hook and eye clasps and has ribbon detailing at the neckline. The vest is made of a slightly stretchy thick knit fabric that can pull on over the head without any type of fasteners. All of the embroidery on the vest was mimicked with felt which was hand stitched into place. The skirt is a full circle skirt for maximum twirling and the designs were hand painted using acrylic paint mixed with fabric medium. The cape is made of a thick flannel and edged with pompoms. The heart shaped clasps were made of sculpey clay and are attached on top of a large hook and eye closure.

Anna Frozen girls halloween costumeAnna frozen girls halloween costume

Elsa’s dress was sewn to be pulled on over the head without fasteners as well. The main sequined bodice piece is fully lined in a costume satin to avoid itching and wraps from the front around the sides and into the back. It is split in the center back underneath the cape and the back panel is a shirred costume satin in a matching color. The shirred panel allows the dress to be stretched to pull on while still appearing fitted. The skirt was sewn from a solid colored costume taffeta and hand painted with streaks of silver and light blue as well as glitter (never too much glitter for a children’s costume!) Elsa doesn’t wear a crown in her ice princess dress in the movie, but that didn’t stop us from making one (because tiaras are so much fun, obviously).

Elsa frozen girls halloween costumeElsa Frozen girls halloween costume

The Kristoff costume is four pieces. A long sleeve light grey knit shirt, a pair of dark grey knit pants, a belted fleece tunic and a fleece cap. The tunic has ribbon and faux fir as edging and the belt is made from two ribbons sewn together. The cap has a fleece pompom. Kristoff’s costume wouldn’t be complete without Sven and we used a puppet that we already had at home as his trusty sidekick.

Kristoff Frozen boys halloween costumeKristoff Frozen boys halloween costume

Not wanting to be left out of the Halloween fun, I decided to make myself a costume last year as well. My husband and I decided to dress as the parents from Frozen, who never are called by name during the movie, but Disney wikia claims are named King Agnarr and Queen Iduna. They only have a few minutes’ worth of screen time so it was hard to dig up reference photos for their costumes but it was a fun challenge. Queen Iduna’s costume is made in three pieces, a long sleeved mandarin collared shirt with ribbon at the neckline, a purple underdress and a black overdress with painted detailing on the back. All of the ribbons on the overdress and coat were hand painted to mimic the patterns on the movie costumes and the medals and overdress clasp were made of painted sculpey clay.

Frozen parents halloween costumeFrozen parents halloween costumeFrozen parents halloween costume

In a last minute day before Halloween decision we talked my mom into wearing an Olaf costume (because what is Frozen without Olaf?) I used a white hooded sweatshirt and added felt buttons, eyes and eyebrows and pipe cleaner twig hair. The nose was a cone of orange felt and she wore white pants. A super easy and quick costume and she was a huge hit while we were out trick or treating.

Frozen family halloween costume

Once again a highlight of the Halloween season was taking the kids to Disneyland to meet the real Anna and Elsa. I’m a little bit sad that the kids have decided on non-Disney costumes for this year’s Halloween, but it will be fun to have total creative freedom with the sewing this time around. One month to Halloween… time to get started!

frozen family halloween costume

Frozen family halloween costumes – Anna, Elsa & Kristoff

A rainbow patchwork baby quilt for Raylan

I finished this in December of 2014 and somehow never got around to sharing it. I have made a quilt for each of my nieces and nephews and this one is for my nephew Raylan. He is a rainbow baby and I knew that I wanted to make him a rainbow quilt, but without it being too overly themed so that he wouldn’t outgrow it too quickly. (For those that might not know, a rainbow baby is one born after a pregnancy loss. Raylan was born a year after the birth of my nephew Peyton, who was stillborn. You can read more about Peyton, Raylan and little sister Coraline on my sister’s blog – Peyton’s love.) I decided make a simple patchwork quilt from a rainbow of Kona cotton solids arranged randomly.


The backing is a solid blue flannel with a cloud applique – a little nod to the sky and rainbows. The label is a painted message along the bottom of the cloud.


I finished this quilt with a handmade bias binding, machine sewn on the front and hand stitched in the back.


This is the first quilt that I made using a wandering quilting stitch instead of straight lines.  I did a fairly widely spaced pattern and was surprised at how quickly it went.  It’s not perfect by any means but I’m happy with how it adds a cloud-like feeling to the back side of the quilt.

I’ve also (finally!) finished Edith’s baby clothes quilt and will be sharing that one next!

A rainbow patchwork baby quilt for Raylan

Belle, Rapunzel & Pascal halloween costumes

It’s the time of year where I start to think about sewing Halloween costumes for the kids and in between frantically searching “Elsa ice queen costume” and “Anna jumper tutorial” I suddenly realized that I never shared photos of the costumes that I made for them last year. The girls were (are) in full on princess obsession mode and each chose their favorite, and Paul wanted to coordinate but was adamant that he wasn’t going to be a prince. I stumbled on this tutorial for a Pascal costume (the sidekick iguana from the Disney movie Tangled… if you’re not familiar) and he was instantly sold since Edie was already planning to be Rapunzel from Tangled. I didn’t take photos of my process of making the costumes because a) I don’t have time for that sort of stuff these days and b) most of the ideas I used in making the costumes were gathered from other generous bloggers who had shared their completed projects and processes. Instead I’m sharing links where applicable. And lots of photos… because I just couldn’t resist.

Rapunzel Belle and Pascal halloween costumes

I took the photo below while the costumes were still in progress so the yellow wrap on the Belle costume wasn’t finished, but this is the best shot of Pascal’s tail, the twirliness of the Rapunzel dress and the major poof in the Belle costume.

Rapunzel Belle and Pascal halloween costumes

The Belle costume was sewn almost 100% as written directly from this amazing tutorial for a child’s Belle costume. I couldn’t possibly write enough good things about this tutorial. It had so many great ideas, especially the shirring. What a genius idea for a kid costume – no zippers or buttons and it fits a wide range of sizes. It’s never going to look baggy. It was perfect. The tutorial was written for a toddler so I knew the skirt wasn’t going to work exactly the same way on a much taller child. I added more width and also planned for and sewed a simple petticoat to go underneath for maximum poof factor. I also made some quick and easy yellow fingerless gloves, based on this tutorial. Add a rose and hair donut and presto. Belle is ready for the ball!

Childrens Belle dress halloween costumeChildrens Belle dress halloween costume

The Rapunzel costume was a combination of many tutorials and as you might guess… sort of (extremely) involved to sew. I took the basic idea for the bodice construction from the Belle tutorial (because, once again, shirring! Genius!) but added lace detailing at the top and bottom and a couple of ribbon loops for lacing in front. I used some sleeve tricks from this other Rapunzel dress tutorial (coordinating with the Pascal tutorial from earlier). I sewed the stripes on as shown in the tutorial, but attached the sheer portion before sewing the entire thing into a finished sleeve. It took me a couple of tries to get the order of operations right, but I think it was worth the effort. I decided that the skirt had to be a full circle skirt to really match with the movie and I used two colors of fabric panels to mimic the center underskirt. I don’t have an embroidery machine (or the kind of time required for hand embroidery or applique) so all of the detailing on the skirt is painted on. I finished up the costumes too late to order a wig online (and most of them were over the top expensive anyway) so I made a yarn wig from this tutorial and glued in silk flowers to finish it off.

Childrens Rapunzel dress halloween costumeChildrens Rapunzel dress halloween costume

Rapunzel! Rapunzel! Let down your hair! She was insistent that the yarn wig reach all the way to the ground for authenticity, so she spent a lot of time with it looped over her arm in an attempt to keep it from getting dusty.

Rapunzel and Belle childrens halloween costumes

Pascal was constructed entirely from the tutorial I linked above. Why mess with a good thing? Especially when it is so quick and easy.

Pascal from Tangled childrens halloween costume

The kids had a total blast on Halloween showing off their costumes… but my favorite part of the entire project was seeing them with the “real” Rapunzel and Flynn Rider at Disneyland. I can’t wait to get started on the next batch of princess costumes!

Rapunzel Belle and Pascal halloween costumes

Belle, Rapunzel & Pascal halloween costumes

A triangle baby quilt for Coraline

This was probably the most challenging quilt that I have ever sewn. Which is saying something about all of the other quilts (that they’re pretty simple). I loved the idea of a triangle quilt and I spent ages looking at tutorials to show me how to make one. I used a few different ones (this one, this one and this one) but even so my first several rows of triangles ended up with all sorts of wonky intersections. It wasn’t until the last few rows that it really started coming together into nice points. I’m just going to say that it gives my quilt extra charm.

Equilateral triangle baby quilt by Katy Regnier on Permanent RiotThe back of the quilt has a row of strips from the leftover fabric from the front, just because I can’t stand to leave the back of a quilt plain (even if it would be a time saver and I could always use a time saver).

Equilateral triangle baby quilt by Katy Regnier on Permanent RiotThe majority of the fabrics (the prettiest ones for sure!) came from my friend Jean (thanks Jean!) who was trying to get rid of some fabric that no longer sparked joy for her (thank you to Marie Kondo too!) and I am so glad that she gave them to me because they were definitely the inspiration for the color palette that I chose for the remaining fabrics.

Equilateral triangle baby quilt by Katy Regnier on Permanent RiotMy favorites are the bright reds and deep purples, I love how they pop out when you see the whole thing together.

Equilateral triangle baby quilt by Katy Regnier on Permanent RiotI finished this quilt with some hand sewn bias binding and a painted label. I still just don’t seem to have the patience or talent for nice hand embroidery so I prefer the look of a painted label for now.

Equilateral triangle baby quilt by Katy Regnier on Permanent RiotHooray for finishing another quilt! I was hoping to have this one done by Christmas but was able to hand it over completed on the 26th. Not too bad for a hectic holiday season. I also finished one other quilt, the one I had been working on for ages for big brother Raylan, so I will be sharing that one next. Now if I could only finish up that baby clothes quilt for Edith…

A triangle baby quilt for Coraline

Hey, look! I sewed a dress!

It’s been a really, really (really) long time since I sewed anything for myself. Most of the things that I make are either gifts for friends or relatives (or babies of friends or relatives) or clothing for my children. Over the summer I also sewed a bridesmaid dress for my sister, and while I was working on it I started lamenting the fact that I hadn’t made myself a dress in years.

One of my favorite dresses to wear on a weekday was this soft green one I have had for over 5 years, but since it’s so well loved it’s starting to show its age. I’ve been thinking about making a replica for a long time, but I finally got up enough motivation to actually do it. Taaadaaaaa!

DIY sewing - copy of ready to wear dress on Permanent RiotThe original dress was so comfortable and so easy to wear – looks like real clothing but feels like pajamas is my gold standard – so I couldn’t resist making one that fit exactly the same. I just pulled some cotton out of my fabric closet (hoarder stash?) to make this. It’s a quilting cotton so it obviously doesn’t have the exact same drape as the original, but it works for me.

DIY sewing - copy of ready to wear dress on Permanent RiotDIY sewing - copy of ready to wear dress on Permanent RiotSince I never zipped or unzipped my original dress (it had a hidden side zip) I decided to leave it off, and I thought that the tie sash might be a little much with the busy fabric pattern so I left that off as well. It was such a quick and easy project – just a simple trace and cut and an afternoon’s worth of sewing. It’s the kind of project that makes me wonder why I don’t make more things for myself… especially when I can have a new version of my most comfortable and long since out-of stores dress in just a single afternoon without even leaving the house. I think I need to make more of these…

DIY sewing - copy of ready to wear dress on Permanent Riot

Hey, look! I sewed a dress!

Edith’s crocheted chevron baby blanket

While I was getting my post on the giant granny square blanket ready, I realized that I never got around to posting photos of Edith’s crocheted chevron blanket. This one has been done for quite a while, I can’t remember exactly but I *think* that I finished it up sometime last year. It’s really been a blur! I started this one when she was a baby and chevrons were THE hot thing. Now they’re a little past the peak of stylishness but I still love her blanket.

Crocheted chevron baby blanket on the Permenet Riot blog

I used a super simple ripple afghan pattern that I found on ravelry and my favorite part was choosing the colors of yarn. Back when I first started the blanket, we were living in our old house and Edith’s room was a pale buttery yellow. I knew that I wanted to use that and that I also wanted to mix in some bright colors to keep it from being too baby pastel. I wanted it to be a blanket she could grow into. She had an arrangement of photos in bright blue frames so I pulled in a similar blue yarn and also picked up a few of the colors from her rug and striped changing mat as well.

Crocheted chevron baby blanket on the Permanent Riot blog

Now we’ve moved and she has a peachy orange room instead of a yellow one (I replicated the mural I’d painted in case you were wondering) and she doesn’t really use her changing mat anymore (potty training, yikes!). Being older and much more opinionated than she was as a baby, Edith has also now vetoed her pretty pink simple sheets in favor of some Winnie the Pooh ones, but oh well, at least the blanket still goes with her rug.

Crocheted chevron baby blanket on the Permanent Riot blog

I didn’t set out a repeating pattern (or any sort of a pattern) before starting work on this project, the only thing that I decided on in advance was that there would be less blue than any of the other colors. I just sort of added in stripes willy-nilly as I was going along, I thought it would give a more spontaneous look to the blanket (the variations in thickness are random as well) but in reality I just drove myself crazy over-analyzing which color should come next when it came time to switch yarns. If I had it to do over I would probably pre-plan the stripes.

Crocheted chevron baby blanket on the Permanent Riot blog

The blanket is big enough to completely cover the whole mattress in her crib (which she is also very soon to outgrow) and she gets tucked in with it every night. I love the projects that end up being put to daily use. They’re always so much more satisfying than the ones that are just for show. Just look at that sweet face… snug as a bug in a rug. Or hand crocheted chevron baby blanket. You know…

Edith’s crocheted chevron baby blanket

Purl Soho inspired giant granny square blanket

It’s done! It’s done! The blanket that I started six months ago is finished! When I first saw the photos of the Purl Soho giant, giant granny square blanket I was smitten. I just had to have one. Which means that I had to make one.

My vision for the blanket was that it would be a cozy comfy inviting living room throw blanket that could be casually draped over the back of the couch. It would give a bit of color and a warmth to the room and of course be perfect for snuggling under while watching a movie. The good news is that it accomplished almost everything that I set out for it to do – it’s comfy, cozy and warm. It’s beautiful and I love all the colors and it does indeed make the perfect movie-watching companion. The only trouble is that it is SO giant (it is called the giant, giant granny square after all) that it looks a little silly “casually draped” because it needs to be folded at least in quarters to even fit on the couch. This is one GIANT blanket.

Purl Soho inspired crochet giant granny square blanket - Permanent Riot blog If you clicked over on the link to the inspiration blanket and pattern you might have noticed that the colors aren’t exactly the same. I just couldn’t quite get on board with the $1,000 price tag that would come along with purchasing all of that (albeit beautiful) Purl Soho merino, especially knowing that with three small kids and a dog this blanket is destined for some pretty rough treatment. Instead I made this out of some soft but decidedly less fancy acrylic yarn. I had moments where I wondered whether putting all this effort into a blanket that was made with less than top-notch materials was a silly endeavor but in the end I know it makes more sense for us right now at this stage in our lives. Since I wasn’t using the Purl Soho yarn, I had to kind of wing it on the color selection. I knew that I wanted to keep the spirit of the original pattern – I love the unexpected combination of the brights with the pastel blue and navy so I just took that idea and ran with it. I also decided to start with a smaller square of white in the middle and I’m happy with how that turned out as well.

Purl Soho inspired crochet giant granny square blanket - Permanent Riot blog The best part about making this blanket is that it’s such a simple pattern you can almost work on it in your sleep, and you can definitely work on it with one eye on Downton Abbey. The middle part of it also worked up deceptively fast, so after just a few nights I could warm myself up with it while I crocheted. Once I got to the last few colors, each stripe round would take me at least two hours (I am not the world’s fastest crocheter) and I had myself convinced that I might never finish. Luckily some much needed rains blew in to California in the last few weeks and being trapped inside hunkering down from the storm turned out to be exactly what I needed to finish up my project.

Purl Soho inspired crochet giant granny square blanket - Permanent Riot blog The blanket is definitely going to reside in our living room but I had to spread it out on the bed for just one shot so that you could see the whole thing in its giant granny square glory. Isn’t she a beaut? I love her so!

Purl Soho inspired giant granny square blanket

Instagram skies turned watercolor

Instagram inspired sky watercolor paintings by Katy Regnier - Permanent Riot

I have been doing a lot of painting lately and I sometimes feel like my head might just burst open from all of the ideas that I have bouncing around in there. I have started to keep a list of things that I want to paint because I feel like if I wait too long I might forget… I really wish my hands could keep up with my brain! One of the projects that has been on my to-paint list for the longest is a series of watercolors based on my instagram sky series.

Instagram inspired sky watercolor paintings by Katy Regnier - Permanent Riot

I love the simple square format of instagram and I love the idea of a series of paintings that all relate to each other while still being varied in color, tone and composition. The sky series seemed like a perfect candidate.

Instagram inspired sky watercolor paintings by Katy Regnier - Permanent Riot

I’m learning a lot by painting the sky (some of my earliest sunset paintings were such complete flops that I had to scrap them 5 minutes in) and I feel like there are endless opportunities for improvement and variations to be had. Since I’ve been working on my #365daysofsky project since January of 2013, I also already have over 400 images to choose from – lucky me! I’m going to save some of my very favorite paintings to decorate our house with, but I’ve also decided to list some of them in my etsy shop. I’m sure that there will be more to come soon as well. I just can’t seem to stop!

Instagram inspired sky watercolor paintings by Katy Regnier - Permanent Riot

Instagram skies turned watercolor

Dreaming big – Permanent Riot is now on etsy!

When Ben went to Washington DC on business a few months ago, he brought our daughter back a shirt with an image of a rocket ship on it, and in big bold neon letters the words “I DREAM BIG”. I loved that shirt and couldn’t stop looking at it. It made me so excited for our kids’ futures, for all that they might dream about and work for and do. It also made me realize that there were a lot of my own dreams (both big and small) that I had been putting off for one reason or another.

I want my kids to see the world as being full of endless possibilities, I want them to believe that they should put their hearts and souls into the things that they love, and that no dream is too big. I don’t want them to get hung up on fears and worries and doubts. I want them to put those things aside and push forward, even if it means setting foot into the unknown. And even with all of these big hopes for my kids, I’ve somehow let myself get hung up in fear and worry and doubt. For years now I’ve been thinking of opening an etsy shop to sell the things that I make, but I’ve always been worried. What if nobody comes? What if nothing sells? What if I TOTALLY AND COMPLETELY EMBARRASS MYSELF?! That’s the big one. That if I open a shop and it fails I will have embarrassed myself. How silly is that? I want to make sure that my kids know that failure is just a step on the pathway to success (or that success really is a journey and not a destination? does this post have enough motivational cliches yet?) so I’ve finally decided to lead by example and do something I’ve always wanted to do…

And so begins my etsy shop, Permanent Riot.

For now I’ve stocked it with watercolor paintings and hand-painted ceramics because I’m on a total and complete painting kick. In the future I might sell crocheted doodads or childrens’ clothing or who knows what. My goal is to have a creative outlet and a way to give a good home to the things that I can’t help making. I love that now that I’m past the scary unknown phase it’s given me a reason to get up and paint in the morning. My shop has only been open for a few days and I’ve already painted more in those few days than I had in several months prior. I love having a reason to create.

Permanent Riot - made by Katy Regnier - a shop on Etsy

I started out with just simple ombre quotations but have been more and more excited about getting back into detailed paintings, something I haven’t done in years. I can’t wait to make more of these.

Original watercolor painting - "piaf" sparrow by Katy Regnier - Permanent Riot on etsy

Here’s to a new adventure and a brand new shop. I hope you’ll come and check it out!

Dreaming big – Permanent Riot is now on etsy!