Saturday, December 18, 2010

A sunny cold day and some fat quarters

First off, I won some awesome fabric from Lilac Lane in the SewMamaSew Giveaway Day. I was pretty stoked to win, since there were hundreds of entrants to each giveaway I visited. So I'm looking forward to getting that package in the mail, thanks Lilac Lane!

When I want to pick up a new little project but don't know what to do, I usually stand at my ironing board pressing fabrics- fat quarters or scraps or any little leftovers- until inspiration hits. I wound up with 6 fat quarters, cut them up and made half square triangles with them.

Then I had moments of pure joy playing with the squares and realizing that I have soooo many possibilities for layout.
I can do squares:

Or stripes:

Or pinwheels:

Or alternate the triangles:

There's probably even more I can do. How am I going to decide? The fun part will be piecing them all together. I don't think it'll wind up to be very big, so I don't know what I'll do with it, but sometimes it's more about the process than the end results. And sometimes it's the other way around.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Layout for the Moz blocks

I laid out the blocks I cut to get an idea for how they should be arranged. I think I hit the nail on the head on the first try. They look stunning together, don't they? A little lopsided and wonky because I had to lay them out on the bed, over my soft, cozy, warm, inviting bedspread that I got to linger in this morning, thanks to getting called off work. It was a perfect day to sleep in, and now it's a perfect day to get sewing.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Little Box- perfect snowy afternoon project

I made a little box from a tutorial on ps I quilt; I left off the handles because I wanted a box for my coffee table odds 'n' ends instead of a little mini-tote. 

There's nothing in the picture for context, but it's small- about as wide as my hand is long. It was a fun little afternoon project.

Gettin' My Mozambique On

After staring at these fabrics for a few months now, I got up the guts to start cutting. I wanted to keep the integrity of the designs, since they're so beautiful in and of themselves, so I wanted large blocks. I cut each of the small-patterned fabrics into 12" squares; I have 15 squares of each of those 3 prints = 45 12" squares to start from.

The fabric with the clover-shaped design wouldn't allow for squares to be cut around the design because of how they were laid out against each other, so I thought about fussy-cutting them and then appliqueing them. Now, I'm thinking the design might be too big to applique them all on...

I might have to wait until the squares are put together to decide how/how many of this design to applique. But since I can't get straight edges/square corners out of this, I think applique is my only option.

Again, any thoughts/comments/suggestions are welcome- I like brainstorming ideas; I love to hear what other people think when they see something.

On another note: starting this blog has altered the way I look at my projects and the way I process them in my head. I'm now in love with taking pictures as I go along and spending time looking at the pictures and processing it that way. It provides me a very different perspective- a bonus to starting this blog that I never anticipated.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Not crafty, just life-altering

I got news today, finally, from the South Carolina Nursing Board. I've been waiting for almost 12 weeks for my license, for no apparent reason, and they said it would be issued today. I almost starting crying on the phone with Karen Jean from the LLR as she told me it would be issued today and mailed tomorrow. Suddenly, the weight of all the stress and worry and sadness about not being able to move forward with my life just came pouring out of me in a torrent of tears. I felt foolish for crying but I couldn't stop. Suddenly, there was hope for me; a light at the end of Morgantown; a tremendous feeling of anticipation.

So from here it will be small steps finding the right position with the recruiter who has the best options for me. Then, BAM, it'll be time for me to move. There's a lot to be done so I need to garner all my energy to make it happen, but I'm hoping that it'll happen fast enough that I don't have time to slow down. I've been nothing BUT slow lately, wallowing in the hopelessness that I was feeling about my situation. I had really begun to stand still myself while I felt my life was at a standstill. But no more. In a show of faith that it'll all work out I started some more packing today. Of course, I only succeeded in making a HUGE mess of the dining room, but, hey, what can I expect.

I have some fears, naturally. But I know deep in my soul that I'm doing the right thing so I'm going to cling to that to get me through the hard times and scary times.

That, and the thought of some sunshine this winter!

Sunday, November 28, 2010


I've always looked at little quilted pictures, where some interesting fabric is framed by some other fabrics, and have been wanted to do something similar but never seemed to remember that when I was picking out new projects. But it finally came to me while I was thinking of what to do with that awesome grey fabric I bought a little while back. I found some fabric to coordinate, but as it was predominantly white I didn't want to do anything large with it. So I thought it'd make the perfect frame.

Then I used my newly acquired and still shaky free motion quilting skills to quilt it. There's another one to come, but progress had to be halted in order to watch a nerve-wracking Steelers game. But it was a pretty quick project, and with a 2nd one to match I think it'll make for some pretty cool wall decor. I put grommets in the top corners and some sheer ribbon, but the hooks that I hung it on are obviously not what I will use- it was just what happened to be available for me to snap a quick photo of it.

Go Steelers!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Free Motion Quilting- hoorah!

I took the best class this weekend with my mom at Quilter's Corner on free motion quilting. We didn't make anything worth showing in the class because it was all just practicing a skill. But I had so much fun that I bought a panel to practice on. Turns out it's pretty quick to hammer out a small project and it was so much fun.

The fabric was bought with that picture printed on it- I did all the stitching on top of it.
I love that it's forgiving of mistakes and there's so much freedom in what you can do with it. Sooo much fun! I feel like a whole world has opened to me by learning how to do this. My mind keeps reeling with ideas.
I was the happiest kid in class when the instructor told me after a few minutes of practice that she could tell I was going to be good at this. Now, you know that's what we nerds love to hear!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010


Inspired by an item I saw while shopping online, I made an emergency trip to Michael's for some yarn to try to make cupcakes with. I wanted a flat cupcake so that I could string some together to form a scarf, and most of the patterns I found online were for 3-dimensional cupcakes. So I tried to wing it, and I'm not so sure I wound up with a cupcake.

But Boris does keep going over to it to sniff it so perhaps it resembles a cupcake at least.
I think I'm going to keep working on this until I get a good cupcake.

My morning project went superbly well, though. I had a blast tearing through these potholders. I used up all the Christmas fabric then made one out of some scraps that I swiped out of my mom's stash.

They have pockets on the back (top picture) so there's something to grip. I got the pattern out of a serger book my mom had and the pattern looked complicated, but turned out to be quite simple- genius actually.

I put my first Christmas presents in the mail today and couldn't keep the smile off my face at the post office. I've never been so early with my Christmas gifting and I'm loving it. It really lets me put the thought and love into it that the people in my life deserve.

Looking forward to Friday's free-motion quilting will follow...

Cabled Chapeau

Made from a Debbie Stoller pattern and with Debbie Stoller's new yarn. And there's a reason my blog is mostly pictures and not a writing blog...

Friday, November 5, 2010


I used that fabulous little tool that I found last week to make a small table runner. I love these colors- a nice variation from my standard pinks and reds. And it was so much fun to stitch, cut then stitch again and watch the pinwheels come to life.

I have enough charm squares left over to do another one, too. Just need to find a use for them...

Now I'm off to Michael's to get some yarn to knit a sweater- something I haven't done in a long time. It's definitely sweater-making weather, though. Get myself some movies, some hot chocolate and I might be able to cope with the fact that it's supposed to snow today...We'll see.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Blogger's Quilt Festival

Being oh so new to the experience of blogging, I thought I'd go ahead anyway and take part in the 2010 Blogger's Quilt Festival.

I'm also pretty new to the whole quilting game. This is one of the first quilts that I actually completed, so obviously I learned a lot in the process. But what I love most about this quilt is that it's all completely and totally my own. I had gone to the fabric store without anything in mind, picked up a handful of fat quarters that appealed to me, and on the way out I saw a triangle template and grabbed it just for the fun of it. I went home that afternoon and started cutting...starting sewing triangles together...and pretty soon the picture in my mind was complete. I knew exactly what this fabric was supposed to be.
I loved the entire experience and this quilt will always hold a very special place in my heart. It makes me happy just to look at it, and as this weather is getting cooler, it feels so lovely wrapped around my shoulders.
So thank you, blogging world, for giving even a newbie like me an outlet and a place to show my handiwork. It's fabulous to look at all the quilts that have been submitted.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Fabric Shopping Spree!!

Spent a beautiful Fall day in Pittsburgh fabric shopping. Went to what may well be my favorite fabric store ever, Loom in the Strip District:
I purchase some festive seasonal fabric to make a few little gifts out of. After my purchase was cut and on the counter, an older lady who was browsing looked at it and said "I was looking for some Christmas fabric...but this isn't exactly what I had in mind..."

But really, can you think of a better holiday print? I can't.

The next fabric I absolutely couldn't pass up. I can see in my mind what I want but haven't found the accent pieces.
I can see it cut into large squares, with sashing that looks retro, possibly some cocktails or martini glasses or something...I just think the print is fabulous and could make a stunning quilt.

The next two I bought specifically for a charm pack that I bought from Pure by Moda. The ampersands will be the backing fabric and the argyle the sashing/border. Got a tool that will help make a pinwheel  without all the tedious measuring and cutting.
Iit was a very productive afternoon, full of inspiration and I can't wait to get work on something!

I get to see my darling friend tomorrow, one I always knit/crochet with. She has a project she's stuck on so we'll be working on a crochet project for her adorable little girl.
More pictures to come! Happy crafting.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

I've been tasked with making a quilt for my brother and sister-in-law out of these gorgeous fabrics that he brought back from Mozambique. I'm in love with the fabrics- they'll make something fabulous no matter what I do with them. Good eye, brother.

 I initially thought to make this one the backing to preserve the design, but

this one might need to be the back because I love the way the circles interact with each other. And perhaps that top fabric can be cut into large squares. Thoughts on this?

These three can be cut in any fashion and still be stunning, I think.

I'm just in the process of sitting and staring at them, waiting for them to speak to me. I'm a little afraid to start cutting until I have a clearer idea of what to do. 

Friday, October 22, 2010


I've been working on this blanket for a long while now. I wanted to crochet a large project but lacked the money to fund I decided to use up my odds 'n' ends, or the yarns that I bought for a specific project that never panned out. So I didn't worry about matching, or even coordinating, the colors, I just dove in to my stash and picked out the next yarn. It's very warm and cozy, and now my yarn bin doesn't taunt me with its unused supply.

But now that I've completed it, I'm jonesing for another large crochet project.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

My first (mostly) successful border (wizard of oz quilt)

I used the method described here and I wound up with a quilt border that actually lies flat! In the past I've avoided borders because my first attempt at one was a wavy disaster, but  had no choice but to face it head on with this quilt pattern, and I won. A few minor mistakes that can be fixed when I add the border at the end after it's quilted together, but I feel quite triumphant.

First Post Ever

It's been in the back of my mind for a long time to start a blog where I can post my completed projects, or my works in progress. A more appropriate setting for my photos than just throwing them on facebook. Since I first thought of starting this blog, I've completed dozens of projects, and every time I do, I think "I should really start that blog." So here goes. I finally did it.

And now, the first project of the blog, made while the Steelers were beating the Browns.

Made using the pattern and some plain black yarn I had lying around.