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!

Coordinating cousin dresses {sewing projects}

This year for Christmas I got the idea to make all of the little girls in the family (cousins on both sides – that’s 5 all together) coordinating dresses. Aren’t they ridiculously adorable? (one is not pictured if you’re wondering whether or not I know how to count)

Coordinating little girls dresses - sewing projects at Permanent Riot

I called this post “coordinating cousin dresses” but another title could very well have been “the dresses that almost weren’t” or “how to pull an all nighter the day before flying”. I don’t know why but this is always (always) the schedule when thinking up Christmas presents – about a month before I get an idea for what I might like to make. I spend a few days thinking about the idea and deciding if I do really want to make it. Next I move into research mode – googling like a crazy person looking for patterns, blog posts, ideas and inspiration. Even if it’s an idea that I’m sure I have dreamed up on my own, I still google to see if anyone else has done it (and how). This phase is the longest. I can easily waste away several weeks on blog surfing, pinning and thinking. I spend SO much time in fact that I wake up one day and realize that it’s one week before Christmas and I have done absolutely nothing. Next comes my frantic trip to the fabric store where I wander aimlessly and make a total wild guess as to how much fabric (or yarn, or other supplies as the case may be) I will need to complete the project. Because (of course) during my “planning weeks” all I really did was mindlessly click links and not actually make any decisions, so I haven’t *really* decided what exactly I’m making or how much material it will take. The rest of the week is spent frantically crafting and hoping and crossing everything that I don’t run out at the end (because obviously the last sewing is being done at 2am when more fabric cannot be acquired). Thank goodness that this one came together at the end, I would have hated to show up to our family Christmas empty handed.

Coordinating little girls dresses - sewing projects at Permanent Riot

The best part of this whole giant sewing bonanza is that all of the girls actually really liked their dresses (hooray!!). I think the fact that they’re cotton and roomy makes them super comfy (I didn’t get to try one on… obviously… but they look pretty cozy to me). Amelia has been wearing hers often, pretty much as soon as I wash and hang it up in her closet she puts it back on. That kind of reaction is definitely what I’m looking for when I start sewing and it’s what keeps me coming back for more.

Amelia’s and Edith’s dresses were the first two that I tackled and both of them followed online tutorials that I found – Amelia’s is the adorable Leah tunic from Craftiness is not Optional and Edith’s is the Black Bird tunic from Schwin and Schwin lengthened to make a dress.

Coordinating little girls dresses - sewing projects at Permanent Riot

Both of the tutorials were relatively straightforward and easy to follow, I loved that the Black Bird tunic had a printable pattern, when you’re in a hurry sometimes it’s nice to just be able to follow cutting lines rather than drafting your own pattern. If I were making it again I would probably make a few changes to the construction – somehow having the raw top edge of the skirt piece encased in the neck would be nice and I would also probably add a little facing to the armholes only because I think it looks a bit cleaner. Both of those probably would have added time to the project (which I didn’t have) and the dress as is worked well so I’m happy with how it turned out. Edith especially loves her pocket!

Coordinating little girls dresses - sewing projects at Permanent Riot

The Leah tunic isn’t a pattern but rather a tutorial on how to draft your own pattern and construct the dress from the pieces you’ve drafted. I will say that I totally (100%, I should have taken a picture of how terrible it was) botched the sleeve shape on the first go-around. Luckily I was able to save it, but it was a bit trickier than I’d imagined. Amelia loves (LOVES) this dress and I do too, it reminds me of one of the dresses that the little girls in the cozy book might wear, and I want to make her a hundred more of them. I will say that I am not a huge fan of bias binding the armholes, I’m just not very good at it and I think my dresses look cleaner when they are lined (at least on the bodice) so I might try that next time and see how it turns out. I know that it’s a cooler dress if it’s unlined (better for summer) but with my wobbly sewing I feel like the bias tape gives away the fact that I am not an expert seamstress.

Coordinating little girls dresses - sewing projects at Permanent Riot

Once I got done with the first two dresses I realized that I really didn’t have time to mess around finding and following more patterns, as cute as they may be, so the last ones were just simple lined bodices with a split back and button closure, with pleated full skirts. No pattern, just tracing of t-shirts in the correct sizes and a big rectangle for the skirt. Not having a 15 month old to model for me, I definitely underestimated the length of the littlest dress (it’s much more of a tunic) but aside from that slip-up I think they turned out just as well as I could have hoped for. And all done in time to open for Christmas. Hooray! I consider it a sewing success.

Coordinating cousin dresses {sewing projects}

Happy (belated) Halloween

I meant to post this on Halloween – but then life happened. So instead it’s a happy belated Halloween! I hope you had fun with your loved ones. This year was a record for me – all of the kids’ costumes done more than an entire day before Halloween. I tend to be a last minute deadline sewer – up til all hours of the night the night before. I was pretty excited to be done a whole day in advance. Who knows how early I’ll be done next year, an entire week? Just imagine the free time…

The kids are somehow obsessed with Star Wars even though they’ve never seen it. Paul really wanted to be Darth Vader, until he found out that he was a bad guy, at which point he said he only wanted to be someone nice. I had an idea of how to put together an easy Ewok costume and that was a pretty easy sell for both him and Edith. Cute and fuzzy? Check! Amelia of course wanted to be stubborn and choose something else, she was all about the Yoda costume and that was pretty easy to throw together as well. I’m not sure we’ll be able to talk everyone into coordinating costumes again next year but I figure making it to five years old is pretty good, right?

Homemade Star Wars costumes - Permanent Riot blog

Despite his face in the first shot, Paul was actually super excited to be an Ewok….

Homemade Star Wars halloween costumes - Permanent Riot blog

Happy Halloween!

Happy (belated) Halloween

A quilt for baby S.D.

One of my best friends from college is expecting her very first baby in just a few months. She also happens to be a quilter and made a quilt for Paul and Amelia when they were babies. She had a baby shower just last week and if that doesn’t scream “occasion to make a quilt” then I don’t know what does!

I wanted to make (yet another) scrap quilt because no matter how many of these I make I always seem to have enough left in my stash for at least one more. Is that a sign that I have a fabric problem? The mystifying thing is that I don’t just go out and buy fabric willy-nilly. Somehow over the years it’s just built up. I think I was in denial about just how much of it there was. In any case, I really like the process of sifting through the fabrics and finding ones that sort of work together as a color scheme – I sometimes drive myself crazy adjusting the final layout, attempting to make a random pattern that’s not actually random is strangely satisfying – like a giant game of Sudoku. I only bought one fabric for this quilt, which was the flannel on the backing. Every time I make a new quilt I promise myself that this will be the time I just use a whole cloth backing, but then I put it up against the quilt top and I start to feel sorry for the poor old plain back… so off I go to piece together yet another backing. I really need to just factor in the time it takes to do that step into every quilt making process. I just love the look too much to go without.

I haven’t been able to label this quilt yet because baby’s name is top secret (hence the initials) but that just gives me an excuse to go and see her once she makes her entrance. Baby girl I cannot wait to meet you! Enjoy your new quilt!

A quilt for baby S.D. - quilting projects on Permanent RiotA quilt for baby S.D. - quilting projects on Permanent Riot

A quilt for baby S.D.

A quilt for Cataleia

I am getting SO close to being caught up on all of the quilts on my “to sew” list! I made my very first quilt ever for my niece Charlotte, who is now almost 4. She was my first niece and I was SO excited for Paul and Amelia to have a cousin. And when you set that kind gift precedent I feel like you should really follow through. Charlotte’s quilt was done by her baby shower (how I was so on top of things back when Paul and Amelia were a year old is kind of a mystery to me) but subsequent quilts haven’t been quite as timely. Cataleia is almost 6 months old now, so let’s just call this her half birthday gift? I still owe Raylan a quilt too, but once I finish that (oh, well, and Edith’s baby clothes quilt as well) I will be caught up. At least until I have another new niece or nephew.

Cataleia’s quilt might be my favorite strip quilt to date. I decided to finally start using some of my infinite scrap pile instead of buying all new fabrics, and I’m excited about how well some of them went together, even though I might not have chosen them if I were standing in the store. Ben likes to make fun of me for going out to buy big long yards of fabric only to cut them up and reconfigure them again… so here you go. An honest to goodness QUILT in the spirit of original quiliting – using up all the scraps to make something larger and more beautiful. I also couldn’t bear to leave the back as a whole cloth so I decided to add a bit of scrap in the middle and a blank strip so I could test out my newest idea – a painted label. I am much more confident at painting than I am at embroidery, so I figured I might as well give it a shot. I’m happy with how it turned out! This is also my second attempt at a pillowcase finish. I love quilting but I do not love making bias binding. I also really, really don’t like store bought binding. Pillowcase finishing is letting me skip my least favorite step and as a bonus I think it’s actually an attractive and more modern finish (at least I tell myself it’s that and not just laziness, what do you think? Yay or nay on pillowcase finishing?)

So without further ado – a quilt for Cataleia! Fresh from the dryer and so cozy! You really can’t beat a brand new quilt…

A quilt for Cataleia - quilting projects on Permanent Riot

I realized as I was typing this up that I never shared Abe or Natalie’s quilts either… time to dig those up from the archive for more quilt sharing!

A quilt for Cataleia