Tuesday, March 30, 2010

The End of Quilter's Block?

Pin It So you know that whole situation with me having to be home from work for three (to six) weeks?  Yeah.  That was awful!  I did get some things done but it didn't really seem like I was doing anything at all.  I had no inspiration and was pretty much just going through the motions.  That lasted for almost two weeks and I have to tell you, it was misery.
Luckily toward the end of it all a spark lit somewhere inside of me that made me snap back to myself and start sewing like crazy.
I started working on my entry for month two of the So You Think You Can Quilt contest.  Of course, I can't show you that just yet and to be honest, I'm not feeling confident that I'll ever want to admit that it's mine.
We got a ton of new fabric in at the shop and I was just heartbroken I wasn't there for my little heart to skip a beat (okay, so I suffer from palpitations and tachycardia anyway but I digress) getting to cut open a box fresh off the UPS truck filled with textile fabulosity.  Regardless, I was kept up to date and would make my way in to cut off yardages for some fun here and there.
One set of fabric we got in was Andrea Victoria by My Mind's Eye for Riley Blake, so I made this little ditty:

Now, I still have two borders to add to this beauty but...  don't judge me!!!!  I like to be able to really spread out and measure properly for borders.  I don't pin at all when I'm piecing but I pin like a mad-woman when it comes to my borders.  So while the center is done, the quilt isn't quite done yet but will be soon! (Not bad for my first on-point???)

We also got in a few bolts of Blush by Moda.  I love this fabric and had no plan for it when I ordered it.  I just love the colors and it goes so well with a lot of fabrics that we already had on the shelves so I made this:

Sorry for the crappy lighting, I tried to lighten it up a bit in Picasa...  Anyway I wasn't sure about using the lime-ish green with the aqua/teal prints (you can't even tell in the picture that it's actually two different colors and prints... sigh) but I kind of like it.  If you could see the fabrics better you'd see that there IS a reason I threw it in there!

So there's my two quilts I made in my last weekend of hemitude.  I think they both scream "SPRING!", and they cheered me up so that's all that really matters to me.  Of course I'd love for you to like them, too.  :o)

I've got another one started out of another new line, Frolic for Moda.  Who knows when that one will be done?

We got a super surprise visit from an E.E. Schenk rep today totally on the fly and of course, went extremely overboard on ordering more fabric...  So hmmm.  Yeep!  I really need to keep up on making samples and using up as much fabric as possible.  Haha!

So, considering my case of Quilter's Block, have you ever had any time where you just didn't feel at all creative/productive/awesome?  Someone please tell me I'm not the only one??????

Being domesticated just got a whole lot more appealing!

Pin It Have you ever laughed to yourself at the thought of reading a blog about a blog about a blog?  Well my friends, that is exactly what this is...  A blog about a blog about a blog.
You see, I follow my friend Melissa's blog who blogged about Sabra's blog and now I follow Sabra's blog too!  This cute skirt tutorial was enough for me to lose hours reading her entries and if you make that big of an impression on me then you're doing something right!
These are awful photos, but this is the first of my Domesticated Skirts:

What's that, you ask?  It's reversible?  Why yes, yes it is!  With my measurements I'm able to make the body of this skirt with about a yard of fabric.
Her version uses bias tape for the top and bottom hems along with ties.  I cheated and bought some bias tape in two colors (pink and lime) and used those around the top hem and just hemmed up the bottom edges.  I also did the trick where you sew into the sides so that it lays right and ended up having to pull it over my head to put it on.  I barely got it on pulling it over my head, though so I think I'll try again and do button closures at the waist!
All in all it's a quick skirt to whip up and I just love it.  I've already got another one cut out and fabric picked out for another and another and another (and I didn't have to convince too hard for my mother to decide to make one, as well).  Luckily the weather was lovely today so I even got a chance to wear it today! 
Needless to say, "domesticated" is looking pretty darn sassy these days, yes?  :o)

Saturday, March 13, 2010

I really was going to do the dishes today...

Pin It But why would I do that when my Quilter's Block is OVER?!

I had more of my fabric delivered from work today, including a bunch of scraps from various quilts and purses that I've made.  I've been trying and trying to no avail to find a non-traditional scrappy quilt pattern that I liked.  Today I just decided to forget all that nonsense and I'd just make one up.  Now, of course it's nothing fancy and you'll see that when it's finished (it's so easy a cave man could do it) but it's for me, and it's a throw I can use while I'm watching TV (like that ever really happens but I'm justifying, here!).  The good news is that a bunch of my scraps will not go to waste.  You can't tell how much "scrappage" there really is by this picture but you guessed it, it will be another green/blue quilt!

Of course, I had to bribe my poor kitty with treats again to be able to get into the sewing room without her sneaking in behind me.

Little booger.  Anyway, I worked on cutting my scraps and additional yardage I'd need for the quilt and then started sewing right away.  It was such a nice day out, I even had the windows to the sewing room open!  I got about 1/4 of the piecing done, and was locked away in my own little world for almost 6 hours!  It felt good to be productive.

Then, (after taking a pain pill and resting on the couch for about a half hour) I decided I needed to get out of the house (for the first time) and go grocery shopping.  I slipped into my favorite pair of jammy pants, threw on a cardigan and off I went!  With a stop at Starbucks first, of course.  After Starbucks I went to the shop to get some more batiste for lining in the next shirt I want to make and holy mackerel we have gotten a lot of fabric in!*  I've been waiting and waiting and waiting on a Riley Blake group called Cool Water to come in because I just love it and I ordered every piece!  We're missing one bolt apparently, but luckily have one already that looks exactly like it.  So after I'm done with my throw I will be working with this yumminess

We also got some Make Life in from Moda (*Melissa, I totally thought I skipped over it with the rep but turns out I DID order some!  Only four bolts, but we do also have another new Riley Blake that would've been pretty darn cute for your border!).  I was totally going to cut off a couple yards of each of those fabrics to play with too, but decided I've got enough on my plate for now.

So all in all, I had a FANTASTIC day and was more active than I've been in all the last 8 days combined.  It felt really great, and now I'm pooped.  Hope everyone is having a lovely weekend! ♥

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Why I could never work from home: Exhibit A

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There you have it, ladies.  My sweet kitty, Lilly.  Why is it her fault I could never work from home?

She hasn't left my side since the moment I got home from the hospital.  When I take my shower, she's right on the other side of the bathroom door waiting for me to emerge.  When I make myself a snack, she's right there at my feet waiting for me to be ready to go sit down.  When I take my naps, she's definitely on board.  Proof here:

I'm definitely not complaining!  The truth is that she's always pretty much been this way (I used to call her "wedgie" as a nickname) but I'm just never home to notice it as much.  And it really is adorable how loyal she is.  But the first picture above?  Here's the deal:

I finally made it out around lunchtime yesterday to go to work and pick up my sewing machine and a few of my bags of fabric so I'd have some things to do.  I was all excited to get home and start working on some things, but the car ride proved to be more painful than I expected.  So, when I got home I took a pain pill and a nap before anything.  haha.

After the nap I got into the sewing room, where my dear, sweet Lilly is not allowed.  Enter the first picture.  That is my kitty cat sitting on the other side of the glass door to the sewing room.  I should've taken video so you could hear the most pitiful kitty meows EVER!

I didn't have the heart to stay in there for too long, but at least I got the belt to my Anna dress made.  Now I'd like to work on the fabric flower and start working on my SYTYCQ entry.  Think I can distract* her with tuna????

*  It saddens me to say that my brain has officially stopped working as it took me about 3 minutes to figure out what word I was looking for, and finally came up with "distract".  Sigh!

Monday, March 8, 2010

Pre-op pretty mixed with a little disappointment

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My last day of work before surgery, I had decided that I needed a "me" day since I didn't get my Sunday.  A friend wanted to come sew for the day so I thought, perfect opportunity!  I got this pattern for a tunic a couple days before (and blogged about it, of course) and had been dying to get my hands on it.

I really wanted to make the dress.  The pattern comes with cutting instructions for a tunic, cami, mini dress and dress.  I didn't have enough fabric to make the dress.  Or did I?  I realized, DUH.  I wanted to make the yoke, fabric flower and belt out of contrasting fabric anyway so I did, indeed have enough to make the dress!

So make the dress, I did.  Now I should mention that this isn't really something I would ever wear.  I love love LOVE this fabric, otherwise I wouldn't have bought it, but florals like this work best for me in small doses.  However, I felt compelled to make this dress out of my Amy Butler LOVE fabric.  I knew it would take the rest of what I had to make the dress but figured it'd be okay since I was going to get more when I went back for surgery anyway.  More on that later...

So I cut out the fabric to make a size small.  I was leaning toward the extra small, and also planned to drop the waist a bit but I just got so excited and wanted to get started, all of that flew out the window and I cut a small with the regular waist.  I got my two exterior body pieces sewn together and pressed my seam open and then this:

Now, I have mentioned time and time again this whole love/hate thing I have going on with my Clover Mini Iron.  It really is the best thing since sliced bread.  I just cannot seem to get it through my head when I have it turned on to keep it far, far, far away from anything important!  So of course?  I freaked out.  I thought maybe I could FrayBlock it, but knew that it was too deep of a burn and it would just turn into a hole after the first washing.  I was so sick to my stomach.  Right on the front but so close to the seam!

Then my mother came to the rescue.  "Why don't you do a gusset?"  YES!  That's it!  And you know what?  The fabric was matched as perfectly as possible and I don't think you can even tell.  This is a close-up shot of the gusset and really when you're standing at a normal distance, you can't tell at all.

Crisis:  Averted.
So I got all kinds of excited by this point because it started really coming together.  Doing the yoke wasn't fun at all but I got it done and tried it on.  Urm, uh...  Hmmmmm.

It's too small through the bust, but I think I can handle wearing it as is because I really don't want to rip it apart.  Also, it's supposed to be baggy through the waist and hips but it's...  really big through the waist and hips.  I didn't get a chance to get the belt and fabric flower made and hopefully that'll help.  As it stands, it could probably be taken in a good 3 or so inches in each side and still fit loosely.  

I figure since I didn't get the belt and flower made anyway, the next time I start working on them, I'm also going to rip apart the dress, but only at the waist.  The pattern doesn't have belt loops.  I think if it has a belt, it needs to have loops!  If you forgo the belt, forgo the loops...  That's just me, though.

So aside from the sizing issues and the ginormous burn, I'm happy with the way it turned out and I promise I'll wear it at least once this spring.  Here's the (un)finished product!

Can you see the gusset?  I sure can't.  It's my absolute favorite length, too.  Just at the knee.  The belt will be made of the same teal/green dots I used for the yoke, and the flower will be made of the pink on pink dots.  I still need to find the perfect buttons to finish it off (four button closure in the back).  I'd love to find the perfect sweater to wear over it but the colors are so unique, I'd probably have to make it myself.  Which is just another reason I need to get my butt in gear and learn how to knit WELL.  Not just knit, but do it well!

The first article of clothing I've ever finished for myself.  Do I pass?

** Editing in to add:  I spent so much time trying to find Vellum paper for the stupid Latte Quilt club, I didn't have time to go to the quilt shop and get more fabric.  I mentioned it when my surgeon released me from the hospital and she actually forbade me going shopping for fabric immediately upon release.  How dare she?!

SYTYCQ Round one: And the winner is...

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This is the quilt that took first place in the contest.  Simple and sweet.  She made it for her daughter and freemotion quilted the wording to make it look like her own penmanship.  Sweet idea, yes?
My quilt took second place.

My favorite quilt in the contest, and the one I voted for is my friend, Melissa's.  She even gave me the honor of quilting it for her.  She's such a creative person, you'll see that when you visit her blog.  You can also see her latest "recipe" for the Moda Bakeshop here.  But here's her quilt!


Isn't it just adorable?!  I didn't know it until now, but she also has a similar mural painted in her house and it just looks darling hanging next to it.  Her kids are seriously three of the cutest little munchkins you will ever meet.
So there are some of the entries from Round One.  I do have other friends that were in the contest but they have yet to tell me which entries were theirs.  I have a feeling I know one of them, but I'll wait to find out from the horse's mouth.

Now I'm gearing up to start Round Two's entry.  I'm really excited about it and again, it's gorgeous in my head, it's just a matter of making it turn out the way I want it to.  That, of course requires me to be able to actually work on it.  I'm itching to sit in front of my sewing machine again and I'm thinking that tonight I'll gather some help carrying my things and bringing them home so I can get back into the swing of things.  

Thanks to everyone who voted this month.  I hope the fun continues and everyone stays active with voting for their favorite quilt!

Monday, March 1, 2010

So You Think You Can Quilt... Please vote!

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Melissa I hope you don't mind me stealing your collage photo.  :o)

Today all of the entries for the first month of So You Think You Can Quilt were posted.  Please go on over to Leisel's blog here and go vote for your favorite entry!

I'm so excited and hope everyone will play along!