Thursday, September 8, 2011

This and That

I haven't really made one thing worth posting about, but I've made a few smaller things that I'm pleased with.

From Twinkie Chan's book I made the cupcake hat and cupcake scarf. Not surprisingly, I bought a can of icing at the grocery store today.

Those were made hurriedly to redeem the fact that this hat turned out way too large. I still love it, and I found it a good home. It was my first successful attempt at intarsia, even though my gauge must have been off.

Then I made this little messenger bag from a kit that I bought. It's not lined- the seams show on the inside. It's not something I would have made had I set out to make a nice purse, but it was a quick project: took about an hour and I now have a simple bag that can take a beating without me worrying about getting a work of art dirty.

Years after Clapotis became all the rage among knitters, I finally got around to making it. It's so soft and drapey and cozy. I can't wait to wear it.

I feel like I should be out more; I'm in a new place for only a few months, I should be taking advantage of it all. But it's a small town so there's not a whole lot for me to explore, and this surge of productivity just hit me, so I want to take advantage of that, too. I think maybe a nesting thing in response to all this talk of fall coming.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Over a year ago I won a jelly roll of Plume by Moda. The fabrics are so fabulous and the colors so rich and beautiful, and exactly my style. I made the quilt top before my move to Tampa, and now I've finished the quilt.

A close up of that awesome backing fabric with swans!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Bird Quilt

Mine entirely, from the conceptual phase to completion. I adored the fabric multiple times in the store before finally buying it, simply because I had to. I designed the pattern using EQ7, pieced the top, layered it, and free-motion quilted it, even did the binding. I had some technical help from my mother, of course, but I own this puppy heart and soul. And despite the numerous mistakes in my quilting, which I won't point out because they don't even show up when you look at the quilt as a whole, I'm very proud of this bad boy.

Boris likes it, too, can you tell?

I couldn't have asked for a prettier day today. Made photographing it that much more fun.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Rollin' out of Tampa this Weekend

I can't believe it's been 4 1/2 months. 19 weeks. I was almost certain I was going to renew my contract, I was enjoying myself so much. But when this position came about in NC I felt such a peace about going, and now I'm excited to be on the move again, to go somewhere new, see different things, meet different people, get to know myself in a different way than I did in Tampa.
But, oh how I love Tampa. The beaches, the sun, the festivals and goings-on, all made me fall in love with it. I wonder if I'll feel this crush-type infatuation with each place I go, simply because it's new and different and short-lived. But regardless, Tampa will always be special to me because it's where I started.
And I feel a great affection for Moffitt and the people I worked with there. They welcomed me so readily and cheerfully and really made this a great experience.
And as I pack up to reload my car with all my belongings, there's someone moving all their belongings into a UHaul and I don't envy them. Their furniture and everything...I feel so lucky to just be able to pack up the car (and mail a few things to make room for my traveling companion).
So, off to take care of the few things on my to-do list :) the hard work is behind me still.

Friday, May 20, 2011

I'm teaching myself embroidery. I've given it some half-hearted go's in the past, but I'm pretty excited about it this time.
I didn't realize just how much I would miss my sewing machine while I was traveling...I miss it like a I needed to find something creative to occupy my hands that doesn't require a lot of tools or accessories. So, thanks to I have a new hobby on my hands. I think it'll be fun to learn the stitches, and when to use what stitch. It'll be a challenge to think in a different way, and I'm hoping I can expand from just following the lines. But I'm pretty happy with my cute little tea towel and napkin so far. And I thought the Beach Babes images were particularly fitting for this time in my life.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

It's my first night of actual nursing on my new unit. I'm so relieved to finally be able to stop anticipating it and experience it. I tried to nap today to make the transition to nights somewhat easier, but of course I couldn't. When in the world have I not been able to sleep? I can always sleep. But my nerves I guess got the better of me.
I'm wearing scrubs a friend got me, and carrying the mug another friend gave me, so that I have reminders that there are people who believe in me.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

I’m nearing the end of my 2nd week in Tampa, my 2nd week as a travel nurse. I haven’t yet taken care of a patient, so there will still be a lot to adjust to, but so far it has been every bit as fabulous as I had hoped. The whole roller coaster of emotions has gotten a little less extreme: it’s probably just a kiddie ride now. Prior to getting here I would flip from pure excitement to pure fear in a second. Then back to excitement. A whole bunch of sad thrown in, as I had to bid farewell to some amazing people who’ve been my life for the last few years. The goodbyes really even made me rethink my decision, wondering why I was putting myself and them through this. But I kept reminding myself that Morgantown didn’t offer enough for me to build a life on, and I would have to move on at some point, so doing it when the destination was so exciting was probably the best time.

The drive down was all I thought it would be. Exhilarating, freeing, totally fun. Just me, Boris and some really good music. Reflecting on what I was doing made me feel really proud of myself. I was actually doing this: something that I had thought about and dreamt about for so long; something that inspired near envy in everyone I told; something that I even thought that at one point I would never have the guts to do. And guess what? I’ve got the guts. I just proved it to myself. So the drive allowed me precious time to urge myself on and revel in the fabulousness of what I was doing.

Once I got close, about 20 minutes out, the butterflies took over my stomach. Serious nervousness set it. I had to keep reminding myself that I had done the hard part, now all I had to do was show up. But the nervousness had me wanting to puke. Obviously, it was unfounded, and getting into my new apartment was a breeze.
I drove down the street just in awe of how beautiful it is: so much green everywhere, and then covered by this brilliant blue sky. I was so happy to be here.
That sense of awe hasn’t left me yet. Every time I step outside, I thank God for the chance to be here, to be doing something fun and still worthwhile. I thank him for this beautiful creation of his and that I get to enjoy it every single day.

I’ve been to a few restaurants, to a beach on the bay, and for a walk along the bay. I’m going a lot of places alone, but the only thing different about that is that I’m going places. I spent so much time in Morgantown alone, but I didn’t have anywhere to go, or the desire to go anywhere I should say. So the aloneness isn’t new. But the activity is. The ease with which I share things with people, and how open I am- that’s new. It’s like, by only living here for 13 weeks, I have nothing to lose. So why not go ahead and put my whole self out there. Nothing to lose. There’s a freedom in being alone; a freedom in knowing I’ll be moving on soon. It’s bringing out a confidence that I knew I was capable of. 

So Boris and I are pretty happy. I thought it might be hard to feel "at home" someplace where I didn't have my belongings, a new place with loaner furniture and all. But it's been surprisingly easy. Hasn't even been 2 weeks and I already feel it. Boris certainly does- that's him enjoying his new patio. Notice the grin on his face- he's loving being a Florida dog.

Friday, March 4, 2011

It's like Christmas Eve as a kid

I finally hit the road tomorrow, for real this time. Not like when I left Morgantown, since I've only made it as far as Pittsburgh since then. I had a lot of down time, some time to recover from the mania of the last few weeks of packing, paperwork and finishing up my job at Ruby. I've still been somewhat productive but have managed to get in a few naps.
I have my route planned and I got my new address today, so I actually know where I'm going. I've spent the afternoon (since waking up from my nap) googling pictures of my new neighborhood and apartment complex. I'm so very excited to be in that sunshiney climate again- all the pictures are just overwhelmingly blue and green.
I'll be stopping in NC for a night tomorrow, then in GA for another night Sunday, then I'll arrive at my new home Monday, in time to get Boris settled in and learn a few of the roads before starting work on Wednesday.
Boris seems to be pretty happy with the whole thing so far. He's totally unfazed by everything we've been through this last week and is still happy as can be.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Last quilt-related post for a while

I finally found a travel position, and all the pieces fell into place, so I'll be moving to Tampa in just a few weeks! I've been working toward this for so long, I can hardly say that it's happening quickly, but it's soon anyway. There's sooooo much to do, but one of my priorities was finishing this quilt so that I could pack up my sewing room. My travel assignments will be 13 weeks each, and I'm driving so I can only take what will fit in my car while still leaving room for Boris. So my sewing gear is going into storage (minus one box of WIPs that's going to my mom's sewing room for when I'm on breaks). I'm very sad to be stowing my sewing machine after it's brought me so much joy these last few years, but it's all for a good reason and I hope to be so busy exploring my new cities that it won't leave a gap in my life.

So I'm tweaking my blog a little bit. I'll still post whatever I'm crocheting/knitting (yay for portable crafts!) but I'm also going to post my travels. I feel so lucky and blessed to have this opportunity; hopefully I'll have all kinds of fun and cool things to update on here- if not, then rest assured that I'm just too busy to blog, not that I'm having a horrible time.

So here's the quilt that I finished just in the nick of time. I sent it off to be quilted, then had to do the binding before packing the machine up. I think it was a good project to send it off with.

It's coming with me. I'm bringing a few blankets for decorations, to make wherever I am feel like home. Is there any better way to feel cozy than to snuggle up under a handmade blanket?

Monday, February 7, 2011

Scarf Crazy

I've been on a crochet scarf kick. I love how fast they are, and how endless the possibilities are.

I made a hat to go with this one, too, but left it at work, so I couldn't get a picture of it.

This one I just picked an open crochet stitch and used some leftover yarn I had hanging around.

Monday, January 31, 2011

I finally finished knitting Anne Shirley. I loved making this- the pattern repeat was simple enough that I memorized it, but interesting enough that it was still fun to knit. And I love the fact that it can be worn without blocking, because I hate blocking. So instead I'm going for the more shibori-like effect, which I actually like- the texture is great.

Haven't used my sewing machine much lately because I've been obsessed with finishing this, and I'm so happy that I did.
I'm expecting two exciting packages in the mail this week: I ordered some batting to finish a project or two and some extra supplies to make $50 so I could get free shipping; and the quilt top that I sent off to be quilted is on its way back to me, so I'll just have to bind it and it'll be done. I started this one over a year ago so I'm beyond excited to complete it. Pictures to follow, naturally.

Monday, January 17, 2011

I made the Awesome Lap Quilt from the Moda Bakeshop with the jelly roll of Plume that I won a few weeks ago. I love the fabrics- they're even more vibrant than they appear in the photos.  

Today I'm going to add the borders to the Mozambique quilt, then I'll have 3 quilt tops recently completed that need to be finished, and I guess I'll change my focus for a little bit from piecing to quilting. I really have a lot to learn in that realm, so I'm going to have to throw myself into it wholeheartedly. Wish me luck ;)

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

I love birds

I fell in love with this bird fabric the first time I saw it ages ago; after pointing it out and drooling over it a million times I finally broke down and bought it. I wanted large blocks to show off the birds as much as possible.

When (if) it stops snowing, I'm going to take it to my local quilt shop to try to find a backing for it. If there's nothing there that'll go with it, I'll order the complement in the Rumba line by Hoodie for Blank Quilting. I'd like the immediate gratification of finding something local, though. With the smaller size of this, I might even be able to quilt it myself. 

I came home to some new fabrics that I ordered, too. Poppies in the Spice colorway by Michael Miller, that made me swoon when I saw it. So maybe today will see me cutting into that. Or into the jelly roll that I won. We'll see what the day brings...I love being able to sew on these snowy days when the thought of going outside makes me cringe. It brings some warmth to my life.