Saturday, April 30, 2011

This is the worst!

(alright maybe it's not the worst)
My dear husband is working an overnight shift tonight. Which means I get the night to sew. lol. I finished the top to another baby quilt, but I'm at a halt because I can't decide what fabric to back it in. The quilt is for my friend Alexandra's baby (if I can part with it). But she doesn't know if it's a boy or girl yet (I think it's still too early for that anyhow). Two of the four fabrics that I have on hand to back it with are large florals. What if she has a boy? Is that too girly? They're rather geometric/stark florals so it's not like it's really too girly. If I use the other fabric I have on hand I fear the quilt will look too "harvest-like" the front has some nice bold colors but lots of yellow. The two non-floral options are a burnt orange and brown color. I don't particularly like the harvest look. 

I've given myself five minutes to decide. Since I really want to get the quilting part of this quilt done tonight I can't wait around for someone else's opinion. grr. lol. I'll report back later with my decision.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Sew Beautiful - An Update

Sew Beautiful - February Label
I showed some pictures of my Sew Beautiful Bee blocks in the trimming and layout process last week. Well I actually have made quite some progress since then. All the blocks are sewn together, awaiting a trip to the fabric store for some more Kona Coal for a border.
Sew Beautiful - Feb. backing stuff.
I've done quite a bit of work on the random piecing for the back. I'm not entirely sure where this is going, but I had a lot of fun playing with the scraps that my bee members sent back. I think I sent them enough fabric... these are entirely made from the scraps they sent back! I still have a couple small stacks of strips too! Some of these will be trimmed and given some borders. I think I'm going to piece them in with some solid greys and Kona grass green, and maybe some chunks of the fabrics I have remaining yardage of. I'm so happy to have all these bits on my design wall! Also, how amazing is that label??? SO COOL! It was made by Lee, who also had it printed for each of us (spoonflower rocks!). That safety pin border, totally necessary.

HAHA! Stats from blogger.

I'm going to start with the most laugh worthy of it all. Looking at the "stats" tab on blogger tonight I noticed that someone had found my blog by searching "brownies not done" on google. LOL. I'm sure my blog didn't help them much. 

Next I noticed that at about noon today (yesterday) there was a HUGE surge of activity on my blog. ...nerd that I am, I then looked at which sites were leading people to my blog, and found that (wooohooo!) Rachael of Stitched In Color had chosen my bubble pillow as one of her nine fav's from this month's Bloggers Pillow Party. That's pretty awesome! I mean come one, I have made a quilt from a quilt along that Rachael hosted... that's pretty much bloggy stardom for me. :) And check out the other amazing pillows submitted this month. :) Maybe I'll be chosen as the winner this month? Probably not... but still. :)

Other random amusing (to me) facts? I have had three page views from Egypt. Cool! And second only to the USA, the next highest readership is from Germany (I think some German blogger posted a link... I haven't quite figured it out though). 

Also... I'm at 91 followers. I think when I get to 100 I'll do a giveaway. I have some cute but totally not my style quilt patterns from work ... and I'm sure I'll find some other fun things to include. That may take a while though... I don't usually accrue followers very quickly. 

Totally not related... the other night at the tea shop DH and I shop at, they gave us a sample package of Keemun Encore black tea (because they know I like black tea the most). We tried it with our new adjustable temperature hot pot (WAY COOL by the way), and the tea is so smooth and yummy. It's so yummy that I felt the need to write "love this!!!" on the package so I'd remember and buy more when we run out. Here to find out that it's like... $22/3 oz bag. OUCH! That's expensive! :) lol... maybe for a special occasion or something. It's yummy though. Stop by Adagio if you're in the Chicago area. We visit the one on the north side, ask for Nicki, she's pretty cool (and no help to my husband's impulsiveness when it comes to buying tea). 

Theology lesson of the day. Key terms: Beatification, Intercession.
Lastly - I know you all aren't Catholic... but do you know just how excited I am that Pope John Paul II is being beatified this weekend??? (beatification is one of the steps to being canonized a saint). JPII!!!! Oh my heart! Theology nerd that I am, I love him! Theology of the body, amazing! Patron of youth!!! My former neighbor (yep I lived in Rome for a few months, he lived just down the street)!!! We were buddies -- I mean he waved, smiled and gave a blessing every time I saw him (hehe). Ok I'll stop here. Say a prayer for the intercession of JPII for me right now ok? (intercession = asking him to pray for me/bring the prayer before God -- since he's up there in heaven). 

No one is going to read this post. lol. It's three AM and no, I'm not staying up to watch the wedding of those British people. I'm off to bed!

Chloe's Quilt Revealed!

Chloe's bubble quilt and pillow - finished!
I'm sure you're all wondering if I got that quilt finished before Easter.... Of course I did! With a day or two to spare! I didn't have a chance to wash it though, so I ended up doing so in a laundromat about a mile from my sister's house, while we were back home for Easter!
Chloe's bubble quilt and pillow - finished!
Unfortunately though, it was really rainy and overcast the last day I was there. I had to part with the quilt then, so that my family can take it with them to the baby shower which is this coming weekend. I'm really not happy with that full on shot... I'm sending strict instructions that I should get approximately one photo of the baby on this quilt every month. :) One thing I am fond of? The way the dot backing fabric shows through the front in the light. It totally conveys the bubble-ness.
Chloe's bubble quilt and pillow - finished!
Here's the label. I wimped out on it. It's a fine point sharpie used directly on the backing fabric. No distortion or bleeding of it in the wash. I do heat set it with my iron, although I don't know if this actually does anything. I'm quite happy with the zig zags!!! I really should buy more of that fabric!!
Chloe's bubble quilt and pillow - finished!
Here is the pillow on top - you would totally have laughed at me during this photo shoot. My dad and brother-in-law were each holding an end of the quilt while I balanced the pillow in the middle (with the quilt horizontal)... I kept having them change the angle etc. lol. And for all of you wondering... my circles had very little fraying!

I'm a little sad to see this one go. I'm sure Chloe will love it (once she's born) and her mommy will be happy with it too. I hope it gets a lot of use... sending on instructions for it to be USED. No worries about spills or stains here, a well loved and used quilt is a happy quilt!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

A little start...

The Scrappy Mug Rug Swap is starting up again (round four can you believe it??!!) And I had an immediate idea for my partner. I figured I'd give some half square triangles (HST) a try -- ok well quarter square triangles since that's the way I deemed easier (I don't have a quilting needle plate on my machine... so those tips of fabric get caught down there every time. Quarter square triangles = no points to sew into). I broke into my scraps from my bee month and used some of my absolute fav. fabrics (AMH Good Folks) and some solids. Here's my start.
I've got so much more to share here, having finished two quilts and a pillow that I haven't shared in full yet... but it just seems like the time isn't here to do that (not to mention that I have to do some photo editing since the pictures were taken during the rain this weekend).
Allie Easter
So, I'll leave you with this picture, of my little girl being all punk rock on the trampoline at my sister's this weekend! Hope you all had a great Easter!!!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

easter shoes!!!

Can I just tell you how excited I am that my sister saves things?
 Allie gets to wear these shoes for Easter! I remember when Roseann bought them for Rosemarie... and Allie was just a tiny little thing, too little for shoes like this. I love them!

Monday, April 18, 2011


Signing up for the fourth round of the mug rug swap, and on the form they asked who I'd already swapped with (from that swap). It made me think... I've done a lot of swaps!! This list took me a little bit of thinking and looking back on thank-you's written via flickrmail! 

sent to: Rebecca / Craftalittle
received from: Karen / Enola05

Scrappy Pin Cushion Swap
sent to: Donna / Allz I'm Sewing is
received from: Jennifer / greeneyedsilversmith

Mug Rug 1
sent to: Angela of Tweedledee Designs (now Cut to Pieces)
received from: Michelle / Michellesews

Pillow Talk Swap 4
sent to: Dawn / 2mayboys
received from: Adrianne / Little bluebell

Mug Rug 2
sent to: Edy / edyB1
received from: Jen / mjandco

Urban Home Goods
sent to: Heather / June Vintage
received from: Jules / Relish Australia

Mug Rug 3
sent to: Tina / lilfish1
received from: Jennie / Clover & Violet

sent to: Kaelin / Theplaidscottie
received from: Shruti / 13 woodhouse road

Pretty Little Pouch Swap
sent to: Rachel / stitchedincolor
received from: Amy / alliekatmom

Mug Rug 4
sent to: Leona / oneygirl
received from: Leah / rydersmama

Pillow Talk Swap 5
sent to: Dawn / guiltyquilter
received from: Michele /delightful disarray

CMQG Mug Rug Swap
sent to: Ebony, Terri, & Rachel
received from: Terri, Elaine, & Sarah

sent to: Maria / MollyJolly
received from: Carol / Mamacjt

Pillow Talk Swap 6
sent to: Anna / Singing Shells
received from: Cate / Indigolimeblog

Scrappy Mug Rug Swap Christmas
sent to: Wendy / love the sky
received from: Wendy / love the sky

Pillow Talk Swap 7
sent to: Isabel / rosaechocolat
received from: Kelly / scrapstudio

sent to: Mona / QuiltingCyclist
recieved from: Marilyn / Marilynkb
Angel quilt sent to Nichole / Partridgepeartree

Pretty Little Pouch Swap 4
sent to: Tara / tinkerfrog
received from: Kristy / kristya {cottonaddiction}

RATZ May (keychains)
sent to: Michelle / A.quilter.2
recieved from: Diane / Diane {from blank pages...}

RATZ June (magnets)
sent to: Leila / Needleanddime
received from: Kris / Zaynoo1

CMQG Modern Art Challenge
sent to: Natalie
received from: Sarah S.

RATZ July (needlebooks)
sent to: Shannon / Craftyturtle1
received from: Kris / Zaynoo1

RATZ August (nametags)
sent to: Whitney / The Peacock Tree
received from: Synnove / synnovekri

sent to: Elizabeth / Don't Call Me Betsy
received from: Silvana / Silort

EEE Swap (side swap @quiltcon)
sent to and received from Emily and Elaine

RATZ May 2013 (coffee cozies)
sent to: Jenny / Sew Crazy Mama
received from: Anne Marie / ams2010

Sew Sew Modern II
sent to: Cindy / Cindys0707
received from: Karen / Quilting_fairy

sent to: Kris / Kris loves fabric
received from: Andrea / Crabapple Quilts

Schnitzel & Boo Mini Quilt Swap 2
sent to: Rhiannon / @Raebirdrhi (Instagram)
received from: Jayme / Finding Sweet Land

sent to: Angelica / @angelquilts
received from: Courtney / @courtiepie

Chicago MQG Holiday Pouch Swap
sent to: Emily B
received from: Debi Wight

sent to: Pati / @patifried
received from: Jaclyn / @jaclynb

sent to: Valerie / ToddlerWithScissors
received from: Rhiannon / @raebirdrhi

sent to: Kristie / @Kharri91
received from: Rebecca / @sewpixie

Schnitzel & Boo Mini Quilt Swap 3
sent to: Emily / @emmmylizzzy
received from: Emily / @elephantgrace

DQS10 Recieved!!!!

Oh I can't begin to tell you how excited I was/am about this little quilt! So I'll start from the beginning.

So yesterday after work DH and I stopped home real quick before heading over to my MIL's place for dinner (and to pick up the kid since she spends Saturdays there while we work). We were walking up the stairs and Wally says, "it looks like you have a package." (as if he didn't know that I'd been stalking the mailman for a week now). I glanced up the stairs at the spot where our landlords put our mail and spy a bit of white paper with the notation "DQSX" and I squealed! Then I grabbed the package and noticed that it was from - get this - India!!! I knew immediately who it was from and what it was!!! :) So exciting!! Shruti from 13 Woodhouse Road was my partner and she got it just right! (if you remember a couple months back I did a guest post on Shruti's blog? Pretty cool that we were matched up together right?). Shruti sent me the most amazing doll quilt which is a bit of a conversation/story of her and myself and Marilyn (flickr: Spiced Coffee) sitting around chatting. She explains it pretty well in this post on her blog. I love how outside of the box this quilt is - literally! Look at the three awesome oval mini quilts on there!! I've never even attempted sewing a curved binding!! So cool and personal! And that polka-dot binding!!! And the words and embroidered words!! :) And... I'll just have to show you how awesome the label is on the back! (I actually forgot to get a pic of the back this afternoon, so maybe I'll re-post with a picture of it tomorrow)

Ok all of this gushing and I haven't mentioned the extras yet have I? So I opened up the envelope (which it was a wonder that it got here since the envelope was ripped! eek!!!) and there were three wrapped packages, one with a tag that said "Doll quilt," one that said, "extras for you," and one that said, "for Allie!" How wonderful seriously! In the little note Shruti explained that she'd bought the little dress (sent for Allie) when she was pregnant, but she had a boy. It's perfectly sweet and Allie absolutely loves dresses! The extras are some pretty amazing fabrics - a bit for me to play with, and a bit for me to play with to make something for Allie! :) So sweet really!! And Allie LOVED opening up hers!!

Chicago Modern Quilt Guild Meeting

Today was the April meeting of the Chicago Modern Quilt Guild! We had a sew-in day which was a lot of fun, although it didn't seem like we really had much time to sew at all! I didn't even turn on my machine!! To be honest though, I still got a ton done! Thanks to Beth and Ebony for bringing their large square rulers and cutting mat I was able to square up and trim all 20 Sew Beautiful Bee blocks in a short amount of time! This was super helpful since the blocks are cut at 16" and my mat is a 12"/18" and my largest ruler is 12.5" square! 

I also managed to finalize a layout for these blocks with the help of many people there! It helps a lot to have other people's opinions on color placement and saturation etc. They were much more help then I get around here... my husband always says, "yeah it looks great!" -- not helpful when I need to know about the composition of the colors! 
I think I've decided to not use sashing between the blocks (although I'd like a bit of extra length and width that they would give). I was offered a great "outside of the box" suggestion from Ebony - to add a border (since I want that extra bit added to the size) but to make it a-symmetrical! There's a certain amount of freedom of though and ideas that Ebony has that I don't. I'd never have thought of that - I'm so boxed into the norms I've been living with! Wow!
Here are some of the Show and Tell pictures from our meeting. Some beautiful works of art going on there! Sorry these pictures are pretty terrible. I wasn't quite paying much attention to getting a good, clear shot of them! 

Also noteworthy about this CMQG meeting was that I met some new people and two of them had heard of me/knew me through my flickr/blog (one from each)! Awesome right? Way awesome! Also... again someone mentioned that I should start an etsy shop - I'm not sure the wording used there but I recall being flattered that the specific person thought my work was worthy enough to sell. (FYI: an etsy store is in my future... once I bite the bullet and figure out how to do it legally without cutting corners on taxation etc.). My table mates were pretty awesome too - one of them Elaine is in the Pouch Swap I'm in on flickr right now, and the other one, Erika, loves dying her own fabrics! Awesome!

Next meeting we're going to be dying silk scarves! Exciting!!!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Tea Mixing Class at Adagio

As a spur of the moment decision Wally and I decided to go to the tea mixing class at Adagio Tea. A couple weeks ago we had done a tea tasting evening at their shop and really enjoyed it. We've been drinking our loose leaf teas a lot more often since then. For those of you who don't know, wally likes tea... and likes to buy a variety. I'd already begun mixing my own, my favorite combo being an equal mix of "green roibos bonita" and "fruit medley." It's a yummy combination. 
Tea tasting cups - three teas steeped and draining into cups!
On to the tea mixing. We first learned the basics of how to pick flavors to mix together, keeping in mind the strength and character of the teas. Then we got to mixing. First we picked out three teas, and after steeping them we tasted each one and decided how much of what to add to our cup. It was really pretty cool.
mmm... tea.
I was shooting for a fruity tea that still lets the tea flavor shine. I think I accomplished it pretty well with the mix I call "Fresh Fruit" which includes three different teas (4 parts White Peach, 3 parts Strawberry Black, and 1 part green rooibos citron). Wally did a study in black teas (he usually drinks white or green tea, I usually drink black or rooibos). He created "Black Sabbath" which includes 2 parts Orange Black, 1 part Oriental Spice, and 1 part Assam Harmony. They're both pretty awesome!
Just me... still another month or two until I can share pictures of Wally again!
We're currently drinking my blend. Yum! This was a pretty awesome class, definitely worth it, and really, a pretty cool date too. I have to mention though, there was this girl in the class who had the most totally cool curly hair in the world - and she shared some conditioner tips with me! Her tea was "German Chocolate Cake!" I hope she doesn't mind me sharing a picture, because one day my hair might be as cool as that. 
German Chocolate Cake!
And finally, here's a pic of the store manager Nicole mixing up our blends for us to take home!

Here's a link to the facebook page, should you want to stop in for their next class!

Friday, April 15, 2011

Very few things are as satisfying

as making up some pretty binding for a quilt!
April2011 058
I really need to get to the store to buy a bit of batting for the quilt so I can get going on the quilting! Think I can have it finished by Easter?? 
PS - The binding is sitting on the pillow to match the quilt, not the quilt top!
Sew Beautiful - all blocks completed!
I've just finished the last blocks to supplement the blocks made by my bee members (Sew Beautiful Bee). I'm not sure if I want to sash in between them with grey or not. If I were to sash I'd use Kona Coal (the dark one used in the blocks) or Kona Ash (the light, nearly white one in the blocks).
Sew Beautiful - all blocks completed!
Or I could just add a wide border around the outside edge (about an 8" border or so). I tend to do this on quilts. Or I could leave it plain, blocks right up against each other and no border.

What do you all think? Should I:

A) sash in between the blocks with Kona Coal (darker)
B) sash in between the blocks with Kona Ash (lighter)
C) don't sash, but do a wide border with Kona Coal
D) don't sash, but do a wide border with Kona Ash
E) Leave it without sashing/border.

I'd love any input you might have! :) Thanks!!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Stitched In Color's Bloggers Pillow Party

Blogger's Pillow Party
I finally got my act together and finished this pillow - just in time to enter the Blogger's Pillow Party over at Stitched in color!
Here it is! This pillow will be sent along with the (yet to be finished) quilt for my cousin Ruthie's baby. The funny thing is is that I hadn't even planned on making her a quilt. As it would happen I had the chance to use a friend's Accuquilt Studio cutter at the retreat last month, and I'd decided to chop up this gorgeous FQ stack of Nicey Jane fabric. I had fused some double sided web onto the backs of a couple fabrics and cut a ton of circles (Ebony had a custom die for button covers - which made a ton of different sized circles). I couldn't bear to trash the extra fabric from around the circles, so I used it to make a little coordinating pillow.

I fused those background pieces into place and free motion quilted around each circle. Then I went back and hand quilted inside some of them with DMC floss. It's very pretty and looks quite bubbly once I got it onto the pillow form!
Now I just have to piece the back of the quilt, and quilt it and we're good to go! I should get this done before Easter (!?) otherwise I'm going to have to mail it to her... which I totally don't want to do. Mailing quilts makes me nervous!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

The week of making deals with myself.

Right now I want to sew up a pretty hot pad to put our teapot on. We've been drinking tea several times a day here recently and it's pretty lame that our teapot sits on a cheap store-bought christmas colored pot holder.

But I have a million things on my sewing to-do list. And so many things have been hanging around half finished (and I love the feeling of a finish!). So here's my deal with myself. If I hem my mom's pants tonight I am allowed to make a pretty potholder. hehe. My mom's been waiting for her pants for months.

If you're wondering, DH is working a couple night shifts this week and that leaves me with lots of sewing time. Hopefully I'll have something fun to show from tonights sewing.

Ps: I'm kinda taking this week as a "try to get my projects finished" week. Unofficially though. I just love being spontaneous about projects but my lack of long periods of sewing time has left me with a lot of half finished projects recently. Here are a few things on my list:
  • Finish the other half of my April Bee block.
  • prepare a backing for Chloe's baby quilt. Baste, and quilt (before easter?)
  • sew my last two drunk love blocks (from my month of the bee) by sunday's Chicago Modern Quilt Guild sew-in day (where I'll have access to a 20" square ruler to square them all up!)
  • Hem Mom's pants
  • Make two large simple purses for mom and aunt kathy (not necesarily on the top of my list by any means)
  • MAKE 4 FITTED TABLE COVERS for my aunt's show booth.... yeah that huge roll of 31yds of fabric in the corner is yelling at me to get busy. I need a day without the toddler around to get moving on it. 
  • Finish the awesome bookshelf mini quilt - to eventually go in Allie's room (I need to buy some pink ric-rac first)
  • Plan/finish my Pretty Little Pouch for the swap.
  • Quilt and finish Allie's dresden pillow. 
  • sash, quilt, and finish pillow to match Wally's quilt. 
  • Determine how to file some paperwork for tax purposes and put things in my etsy store (eek!)
lol. That seems like so much more than it really is. I'm going to plow through it this week. See last week I already finished three (out of the 5) bee blocks I need to do before determining a layout. I also finished up a quilted pillow to go with the baby quilt I'm working on.

Now to get off the computer and sew for about an hour before collapsing into bed.

By the way, I just spent the prior part of this evening (re)reading "Curly Girl" by Lorraine Massey. This updated version just came out and after reading it again I feel much more confident in my hair.... and excited to try cutting my curly hair by myself. I highly recommend it. Seriously if you have curly hair go read this! Also it leaves me wondering if I can use olive oil on my hair regularly... some of the recipes in there have olive oil and since I'm allergic to hair products (mainly propylene glycol) the simpler the better!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Posts like this tend to encourage me to get things done.

To do tonight:
  • trim, back and finish pillow for Ruthie's baby (Chloe).
  • Finish the other half of my bee block for this month.
  • Knock out a couple drunk love blocks (from my month of the bee), maybe trim some of them up to size too. (only two more to go!!!!)
Manageable right? I can sew until ... 3am? DH is at work so I can just go for it!

Does anyone know...

why my google reader isn't working? It pulls up the page and trys to open, eventually just giving me an error message/saying there was an error loading the page. Is anyone else having this problem?

Sunday, April 10, 2011

I had a letdown of a day yesterday.

For the same reason I do every month. But I also had a happy day. For one, it was warm outside! I can't tell you how much I needed that! Also, my MIL made tacos for dinner (my favorite non-fancy meal -- she's sweet and makes dinner for us after work on Saturdays... after watching our kid all day!). Then we got home and Allie was in bed, and I got my partner info for a new swap. I know what you're thinking "another swap really?" lol. I couldn't resist since I love the challenge of a swap. This one is the Pretty Little Pouch Swap over on flickr. So I received my partner info and let me tell you I am excited!!! I don't know just how those swap mamas match us up, but I feel like I'm out of my league being matched with my partner. In reality I think I'm at a pretty close level in a lot of ways... but wow! :) I"m happy. (I hope you're all enjoying this big long run-on paragraph). I sat right down and started sketching. I have no idea what the pouch will look like (as in shape, closure etc) but I want this cross pattern to be framed by some more of that neutral linen that you see in those squares around the edges. Hopefully those colors will just pop out of the linen! This is the first bits that I cut from that FQ bundle of solids I won the other week (I'm still gushing about that). I was really nervous to cut into it, but I figured using all my same AMH scraps (like usual) was playing it too safe. I'm sure AMH will show up on this pouch somewhere.

PS it's warm and sunny (and probably going to rain here) and the first thing I did? I ran outside with an armload of quilt blocks and small projects that have been begging to be shared. Finally a little light around here!

Friday, April 8, 2011

Vegan brownies, not pregnant, and a project finished.

What a day.
I woke up and did my yoga with old people dvd (yay!). I'm a little sore but it felt good.
I'm sure you'll ask, old people? Yes, it's a dvd from PBS that is yoga for everyone or something like that. It shows the normal poses but also ways to use a chair to help balance when you're a beginner (or old).
I'm not pregnant. Sucky. I guess I get to have some blood work done this month.
(I hate blood work)
(But I hate still not being pregnant worse)

I finished a project today - one that at the beginning of the day was just a star block and a sketch. It's a gift. Well, if I can bring myself to part with it that is!
I'm only going to show a little bit of it. Partially because I want to keep it a surprise, and partly because by the time I finished it the sun was pretty low and all my pictures are crappy (and apparently I keep writing run-on sentences).

Vegan brownies are in the oven... just a simple box mix... I substituted mashed banana for the eggs. I hope they turn out good because they smell DELICIOUS!! My co-worker Becky is/was vegan. I think she's a vegetarian now, but still can't make herself eat eggs. It's her birthday (if we time traveled to two weeks ago when I was supposed to make these brownies). Birthday vegan brownies! Mmmm... better go check on them!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Spring Cleaning...

This photo has nothing to do with this post.
I want "my little ponies" to use as hair curlers.
My aunt wants these for christmas. :)
So far the only real spring cleaning I've done is to delete all unread posts on my google reader. Do you know how much more often I read my blogs when there are only 10-15 unread posts on there (compared to 547)?! So if I have missed something important (from two weeks ago) on your blog I'm sorry. It was too daunting. lol. Go now and spring clean your google reader!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Five out of Ten, not bad.

Here are the goals for this year that I listed out last december. I've accomplished several of them already! Although I have changed my mind on #4, I don't really feel the want to follow a pattern anymore. lol.

1. {Sew} Beautiful Bee & Swaps. I'm making this just one on my list since this is the extra, the push my boundaries and try something without worry. Whether it's a project pushing my color comfort zones, or my style... or even something technically challenging. Done, ok well still in process. I have done three swaps so far and just signed on for another!
2. I'd like to make a quilt for my mom or my MIL this year.
3. I really would like to finish the String Quilt I started last january...
4. I'd like to follow a pattern for a quilt this year.
5. I want to make a wonky star quilt with light/medium grey and a pop of color. Done! I love it, but it's not quite like I wanted, so I'll likely make another.
6. I want to keep working on taking better pictures of my work. It's a process... and I can see it getting better and better as we start getting more sunlight this spring/summer!
7. I'd like to make a baby this year. (too much? sorry). Oh and maybe not flip out nearly as much each month when I'm not pregnant. (can this just happen already? geez)
8. I want to make more ruffly dresses for my daughter.
9. I would love to make more personal connections in the sewing world.  Totally have done this! I joined up with the Chicago Modern Quilt Guild and have met some pretty awesome people. Even had a little mini sewing day the other week!
10. I'd like to keep teaching my niece to enjoy crafts and sewing. Continuing on this path. Katee and I made these cool glasses cases last time she was in town! :)

Monday, April 4, 2011

A good mail day!

Awesomeness! Just as I was starting to get worried that maybe my mailman kept it for himself, this beautiful FQ stack of free spirit solids came in the mail today! I won them in a giveaway from Michelle from I like Orange Too! You wouldn't believe how soft they are!! :)
And... this awesome bolt of fabric came in. It's for a big project I'm doing for my aunt. I'm making table covers for the tables she uses at her craft/art shows (she does polymer clay jewelry). I need to get some sunlight in here to take some pictures before I get started to make sure it's just what she wanted ( has free return shipping... if it's not right.)
And... these books came in to the library for me - on inter-library loan. I feel like I'm about to write a report for school or something. I've got two more Gee's Bend books coming. The ones that came in here are a coffee table book, a fiction novel about a girl from gee's bend, and a kids storybook!
How cute does that storybook look? It's a little advanced for Allie, but I think it'll be a fun read anyway!

Iron Quilter

Our group's mystery bag
Since a couple of you asked about Iron Quilter on my last blog post ... and since I really did have fun, I'll (finally) write up that post!

Contents of mystery bag
First of all you can check out the Chicago Modern Quilt Guild blog here. I have only been to two meetings, but I did go on the spring retreat which was amazing. These are some really nice ladies and I like that there are no quilt police.

Our "label" was just our names that I free motioned onto the back (notice Connie sewing the binding on while I'm taking this shot? we were hurried!)
For our March meeting we did Iron Quilter (don't ask me where the idea came from). It was sort of like the show on Food Network: Iron Chief --- you know two chiefs and a secret ingredient - they have to make something wonderful with it before the time is up!

My group and our quilt: Freida, Me, Marie, and Connie
We were split into five groups, and each group was given a paper bag with fabric and a scrap of batting and a small bag of "trims" and told to make a doll size quilt at least 15" square including at least a piece of each fabric in the bag (not including trims). We were allowed to swap some fabrics with other groups but my group chose not to. Oh and we had to have a label on it. It had to be bound by the finishing time. I'm not sure how long we had to finish... I think an hour and a half?

This was such a fun project! I am so glad I went to this meeting (I almost didn't since we had tickets to some Disney play that evening). I had to leave early so I didn't see the judging or anything. My ride arrived just as we were putting the finishing stitches on - as time was up! You can go read this post over at the CMQG blog to see all the finished quilts and see who the winners were! This was a really fun challenge and I recommend it highly to any of you who are on the planning committees for modern guilds!!

A little update.

Here are some bullet points about what I've been up to:
  • Sent my Doll Quilt Swap out last week and it was received by my bloggy friend Kaelin (The Plaid Scottie). So I can finally reveal that label that was actually the first part of the quilt I made. I tried a bit of embroidery for her little Scottie, and a Chicago flag to represent me (she had lived here once too). I love it!
  • Participated in Iron Quilter at the CMQG (Chicago modern quilt guild) meeting a couple weeks ago. I have pictures and have meant to blog about it but it just hasn't happened.
  • I had a sewing day (afternoon) with my new guild friend Emily and we had a blast. I worked on a baby shower gift (another one --all these stupid pregnant people), and some blocks to finish up my bee quilt. She finished piecing the top to her modern quilt challenge monochromatic quilt (which is fabulous - go to the link and watch her progress video)!
  • I potty trained my 2 1/2 yr old. Whoa. Ok well mostly she wears a pull-up in the car and while sleeping but that's pretty good if you ask me. She's at the intelligence level now that all it really took was a bit of patience and a pretty selection of underwear. (the Ariel ones are her fav's right now).
  • This was really trying since we have no washer/dryer here - hence the apartment search is moving forward.
  • I broke down and paid $14 for some new Old Navy (men's) PJ pants. I had two pair from high school (eek like 10 yrs ago) that had ghosts on them (my "ghosties") that bit the dust recently. I want to live in my new pants but they need some ghosts on them. I miss my Ghosties... they got me through a lot. I wonder if my brother still has his... (my mom found them on clearance before Christmas that year... we all had at least one pair... even my dad!)
  • DH and I got a little date of sorts today. We went to a tea tasting thing at our local tea store. Pretty cool and I know a lot more about tea and tea varieties (loose leaf) than I thought. Next up is tea blending class! (I'm drinking "Forest Berries" black tea right now which is pretty good). FYI my favorite "tea" (Rooibos) is not actually a tea, since it doesn't come from the tea plant. lol. It's still my fav.
  • I want to sew right now but I think I might go snuggle in bed with DH and watch some Dexter... although I'm a bit peeved with Dexter right now. Grr (season 4 finale).