Tuesday, November 30, 2010

I'm Home!

Well we had quite the visit to Indiana...and two very long drives! So we're happy to be home in our more baby proof home (who's going to be one so soon!!!). I arrived home to many fun packages...isn't that the best?! There were a couple of packages of fabric from swaps where I totally got the good end of the deal from some very generous ladies. An ADORABLE mug rug from Sooz who ironically got me as a partner this time after I had her last round. And an order of fabric that I had tried to cancel but paypal was being weird...so whatever. I got some more fabric! LOL.

Of course, I don't have any pictures of anything yet...nor of the things that I worked on while away...or the crazy number of things that I need to accomplish this week. Phew...I'll be grateful when some of these swaps are done! I think that I'm swapped out for a bit. But I still need to do the best job that I can on the remaining ones, so that means that my fingers should really be at the sewing machine and not at the computer. LOL.


I've been busy on Flickr checking up with my groups and tracking down lost blocks in the bees that I run. Remind me to only run one thing at a time in the future. LOL. Good thing that I'm very responsible and have a memory for details. But I hate to bully people...I don't really bully them but I have to be the heavy hitter and lay down the law sometimes. I hate to do that to sweet busy people. But you have to do that sometimes to be fair to everyone.


I did spend part of the day yesterday after we got home (after driving through the night!!!) shopping online for a new camera. I'm excited about that and I'll share that when it comes. I'm hoping it will help me get some better photographs...especially of a quickly moving little one and in lower light.


The clothes are put away and the suitcases are back in the attic. We've picked up the cat and she is currently snuggling away with me practically sleeping on top of my laptop as I type this. We do need to get some food in the house so we have something to eat...but laundry is done and the gifts are put away in new homes.

Ironically the only thing that hasn't been tackled yet is my sewing room. Since I took my machine and some projects with me, I have to get all that put back in place. But it shouldn't take too long and then I should be on my merry way to finishing up projects and getting them in the mail ASAP! I'm ashamed to say that my blocks for Amy for the Pretty in Pink Bee will be a little late and I'm usually one of the first ones done. But I did work on them Amy while I was gone and I know what I'm doing so to speak. So I should be able to finish those. And I think that you'll like them...I hope! They're me...and I think you like me, so you should like them. LOL.


So enough chatter Angela...get to work so you can show the things that you have been working on! It's all so fun! And the things that you have received!! So sorry for another pictureless post...it's not my style. But hey, life happens.



Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Lost in Limbo...or Northern Indiana

Hi all!
I haven't meant to be MIA for so long, but we're out of town for a wedding and Thanksgiving with the families. Gotta show off that grandbaby! LOL. (Who's so stinking cute lately...I'll have to get some good pictures of her to post). Anyway, I'm lost in a world of slow dying computers and no wireless access for me to upload pictures of my current work! I've been going crazy not being able to keep up with you all!

But the good news is that I have actually been getting some sewing done. I was smart this time and brought my sewing machine on the 1000 mile drive so that I could work while I am here too. So far I have made my first dress for the little one. It's so cute, an aqua polka dot coordirouy (I can never spell that correctly!) with little pockets on the side. I just need to add some snaps and I let that at home...

I was also able to finish a blanket and burp cloth set that have been calling my name for a long time that someone asked me to make. So phew! that's done! and now it will no longer sit on the edge of my ironing board mocking me with inability to finish it.

Next I'm going to work on a dress that I started for myself entirely too long ago and would really like to finish because I think that this dress has great possibilities of being that dress you make a 1000 times in different fabrics because it always looks good. I don't have high expectations or anything do I? LOL.

I have plenty of other projects with me if I get a chance, but I wanted to work on things that actually didn't have a particular deadline because I feel that's all I've been doing lately. I needed to sew some things for "fun" or at least not for the flickr swapping and bee world! LOL. As much as I love it, I need to be able to step away for a few days. Ironically I still have my pillow top with me as well as Amy's fabric for the pretty in pink bee...the only bee I haven't finished for the month!

So I just wanted to say hello from Indiana and another time zone. Let you know that I still exist and still sew like crazy! Thank you all for your sweet comments on Alice. Normally I would try to get back to you individually but like I said...world of dying computers. I hope that those of you in the US have a great Thanksgiving and those of you around the world just have a great week. If I have something extremely interesting to share in the meantime, I'll get back on here. But otherwise, you may not hear from me until next week. Agh! So long! How will you exist without me? ;)

Thursday, November 18, 2010

The Mug Rug Alice

Well, in a feat worthy of the great quilters (whoever they might be! LOL), I made my mug rug yesterday. Yup...started, continued and then finished! Woohoo! I'm usually one of the first to be done with this kind of thing, but I've been swamped recently and couldn't get to it until now. But we're leaving for our hometown tonight for Thanksgiving and I needed to get this done before I left. Nothing like a deadline to make you work your rear end off.


You might recall my sketch that I made. I think (I know) that my partner will enjoy this. It's an Alice in Wonderland picture, but has a Tim Burton/Blythe Doll feel. I know, I know...it's not for everyone. But this is why it's so fun to stalk your partner and really make something that is special for them! Really, they are the only one who needs to love it...although it's always nice when other people do as well. ;)


The original sketch made from combining different pictures and images of Alice, Tim Burton and Blythe dolls:

Mug Rug Swap 2 - drawing




And, after much work last night, the completed Mug Rug:

Mug Rug Swap 2 - Alice in Wonderland



With a mug for perspective. I believe that it is 5" x 8".

Mug Rug Swap - Alice



This is all done with raw edge applique. I only used a pen to write the letters on the label. It's really hard to sew letters that small! LOL.

Mug Rug - Alice



I put a little heart on her pinafore as a nod to the queen of hearts. If I had more time I would have made sure there was some reference to the white rabbit or the Cheshire cat...but you can't do everything.


Mug Rug Swap - Alice - Detail




For the back I chose to return to a fabric you might remember from the back of my doll quilt. The ghastlies! I love this fabric. It's so creepily fun! I thought that this fellow looked like he should be a Tim Burton Character, so he belonged with Alice.


Mug Rug Back - with coffee



The black and white stripe fabric was perfect for this project and was begging to be used as the binding fabric and of course on alice's tights and t shirt!

Mug Rug Back


All in all, a successful venture. I was unsure and hating it last night when I finished...but there is always that sense that the vision did not come across. But I knew it was alright when my husband liked it. Although admittedly he is a big Tim Burton fan. ;) Now to pack it up with a couple of goodies and send it on it's way...I guess I'll have to do that up North. So it's coming with me and I'll deal with the post office there!


Wednesday, November 17, 2010

worker bee

Well I've been working on a number of sewing projects and have at least my bee blocks to show you...and a sneak peak at my pillow. I'm not going to tell you about the things that I don't have finished yet with upcoming deadlines...


First off, I finished Ulrike's blocks for Bee Modern Too. She gave us the inspiration of this picture:

color inspiration

Isn't that fun?! So the idea was to create blocks of a certain height but any length inspired by both the colors and linear feel of the legos. And we could add in some shades of those colors in solids (which of course I did! LOL) and she sent some accent colors to add some punch here or there.


Block #1. Definitely my favorite of the two. I was inspired by a number of bordered blocks, quilts and pillows I've seen around. I did this in an improv manner...only measuring the white border to be consistent. Therefore it took me a lot longer than I thought...I really should have just sat down and designed it first. But I just wanted to get sewing.


Bee Modern Too November Blocks for Ulrike




Bee Modern Too November Blocks for Ulrike - close up




Block #2 was also put together in an improv way but this time I wasn't trying to keep any white borders consistent. So it really was much easier. But I think that it works well with the other block.


Bee Modern Too November Blocks for Ulrike



Bee Modern Too November Blocks for Ulrike- close up



The fun thing about a bee when you are given freedom like this is that you get to see how everyone interprets the same theme. So far we're all pretty different. But everything blends so nicely!


Bee Modern Too November Blocks for Ulrike




Then for Ravishing in Red, Amy sent us precut fabric and a specific pattern to follow...so we're all making the same block. But I think that this block is one of my new favorites! I love how you get an on point diamond.


November Blocks for Amy - Ravishing in Red


In typical me fashion, I still managed to use my seam ripper entirely more than necessary. I should know by now not to work on two blocks at once. In theory that should be just fine, but my brain couldn't handle it lately. LOL.



November Blocks for Amy - Ravishing in Red - close up




Then I went to work on Lynne's block for Busy Bees. She's made a plethora of hand sewn hexagon blocks and asked us all to make a block to go with those. But we could do whatever we wanted as long as the final block was a large hexagon.


Again, inspired by some other blocks that I have seen on flickr that I knew Lynne loved, I set to work drafting my pattern. It took me a while to figure out how draw a hexagon. I feel like I should know that with my math background, but at least once I looked it up I understood. LOL. So it took one night to draft up the pattern and I was finally pleased with it. Then I began to put it together. I knew it would be paper pieced, but I didn't realize that I would end up with partial seams. At least that is the only way that I could make it.

But here is the result..and it's definitely worth the trouble. ;)


November Hexagon Block for Lynne



I'm trying to figure out if there is an easier way to piece it so I can share, but I can't tell yet. LOL. Oh and if there are any math geeks out there like me, you might enjoy that this block is fractals! I didn't even realize when I was drafting it, but when I started making it I realized that I had created a fractal! Don't make fun of me for how happy that makes me. Because it seriously does make me happy to design and create fractals. Yup. I love math. It's okay...you can still love me.

I only made one, but here's another shot of the block.


November Hexagon Block for Lynne





And I've also been working on my pillow for the pillow talk swap. I have the center completed. Tell me what you think. ;)


Center of my pillow...


Still debating what to do with the rest. Too many ideas! Agh. Give me suggestions people so I don't have to make up my own mind. LOL.


And now I need to get to work on that mug rug. You know...the really easy one with alice. (how do you roll your eyes online?)






Sunday, November 14, 2010

Nola Modern Quilt Guild "Christmas" Party

I'm pretty sure that we were celebrating Christmas when our quilt guild got together this past Friday. You would think I would know, but I guess I'm just thrown off by the earliness of the celebration. LOL. But we did exchange some Christmas fat quarters...well some of us exchanged Christmas fabric. A lot of us didn't actually own any we were willing to give away. So we brought red and green fabrics. Kind of matched the theme, right?


Anyway, we were a small but happy group, eating great food and chatting away like magpies!


Part of the group enjoying conversation!




Allison and Kaelin laughing it up! Kaelin has a movie quote for every occasion!

Allison and Kaelin enjoying a story




Mandi was quite indignant about something when she was telling a story. LOL.

Indignant Mandi!



Katie, our lovely hostess! She had two sweet kitties...one who hung out with us and climbed on quilts and fabric and one who made a special greeting but then left.

Katie...our lovely hostess



Don't hold the sweater against me! I won a prize from Kaelin for having the craziest sweater. I borrowed it from a friend and it's actually quite an expensive sweater. (It takes a lot to make all those flamingos)

I won!



But it wasn't just talking and eating! There was also show and tell. I personally just watched the beauty that was displayed in front of me. Starting with Karen's lovely bento box quilt. You might remember I showed pictures of her working on this quilt on the retreat. Well she brought the finished beauty and it's inspired us all so much that our guild is now planning a bento box swap with each other!

Karen and her beautiful bento box



so lovely!

Karen's fabulous bento box completed!



Karen's gotten so good at bento box quilts that she whipped together another smaller christmas quilt. It was made entirely from different christmas fabrics that Karen has been hoarding over the years!

Karen's Christmas bento box



She even had some snoopy Christmas fabric in there! Too cute!

Karen's Christmas bento box




But I have to admit, I think that we all considered tossing her out of the MODERN quilt guild when she pulled out the following beauty. LOL. It was an old top that she had started for her mom years ago and decided to finally finish. Our guild definitely has a thing with cat fabrics and quilts (and many of us are cat lovers!!) I think that my favorite part of this picture is Mandi's expression of horror!

Karen's Cat quilt




Mandi had a beautiful baby quilt top to show us. But we all gasped when she told us that she hadn't pressed a single seam. She's such a fly by the seat of her pants quilter....they just grow!

Mandi's beautiful baby quilt!



But she picked all those lovely fabrics to go with the black and white damask. So we give her points for style. Don't worry...we may convert her to using an iron yet. ;)

Mandi and one of her baby quilts




She also had a lovely collection of bags that she had made with darling appliques. Kaelin snatched up the one with a fleur de lis right away.

Kaelin's new bag from Mandi



Mandi's appliqued bags



And last but definitely not least were Adele's beautiful quilt tops. I got some photos of my favorites and they are stunning. She has such a fabulous eye for color and composition. And everything feels free and effortless. Wonderful!


Adele's liberated quarter log cabin quilt



we all loved the blocks along the bottom too, but the blue patches were my favorite!

More Amazing Adele



And this one I wanted to steal to hang on my wall. LOVE it!

Amazing Adele


I know that not everyone is in a position to be part of a modern quilt guild where you are, but if you are near one I would definitely recommend giving it a try. Maybe we're just a special group, but we have a FABULOUS time together! And if there isn't one in your area, try starting one. Kaelin started ours and I was the second to join...and it took me a couple of months to even discover her. LOL. And now look at us!


Saturday, November 13, 2010

Quilt Giveaway by a Friend!

My friend Karen is giving away one of three quilts on her blog because THE CHARITY SHE MADE THEM FOR DID NOT WANT THEM BECAUSE THEY HAD TOO MANY BABY QUILTS! Is that not ridiculous?!(the charity, not Karen...although Karen can be ridiculous too. LOL.)

Now it has come to my attention that not enough people have entered this giveaway....good for the people who have, but let's show Karen some love here people. She makes great quilts!! And this is so generous of her!

Quilt Giveaway!

So hop on over to her blog and sign up!

FeistyEily

Good luck everyone! But quick! It's almost over!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Mug Rug Start

I posted a question in the Mug Rug Group asking whether I should make a "story" mug rug that would probably not be super practical...or a quilted one that would be. I could see my secret partner liking either. It seemed that the people who knew me who answered all said hands down that I should do a story rug. The newbies in the group wanted a practical one because they didn't own one yet. LOL. I understand both sides.

Thankfully I feel like I got a good feel for what my partner would like and set off trying to pull together my overly ambitious design idea. I gathered a number of images and inspirations and managed to "draw" (really a combination of drawing and tracing) this image.


Mug Rug Swap 2 - drawing


It's a Tim Burtonesque, Blythe Doll, Alice in Wonderland scene... and I'm really nervous about trying to pull it off. But you know me. I'm always doing something harder than I've done before because I always want to grow in my skills and test my limits. This one is definitely going to push me...but I love Alice and Tim Burton and I think my partner will (hopefully!) love this too. I've never really attempted a face, although I suppose my Harold mini quilt had his face and I did alright. But I drew those on and I think I'll do fabric for a good portion of the face details if not all.

It will be done with raw edge applique. I'm excited to start it! I think that it's my first important deadline and with this crazy design, I need to get going right away! LOL.


I really hope that I do it justice in the end...but the drawing is always just a starting point. Working with fabric changes things. So we'll see what this becomes!




Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Deadlines

Well it's that time again. Time to make a list of all the things that I need to finish by a particular deadline and work on them in order of importance...well or at least work on them! Thankfully I think that I've finally figured out WHAT I am going to make for everyone...now it's just a matter of making it.

So...

Modern Swappers - ship starting Nov 29th for international and Dec 6th for domestic.
* 1 1/2 yards of fabric (can't show them yet! it could give away who my partner is!)

* an item for the sewing room

modern swappers bag - inside view

* another handmade item - finally figured out what I'm doing and I can't wait to get started!


3 x 6 Bee - ship by Dec 15th
* 6 blocks made from the same pattern but in the colors selected by their future owners. I of course did not choose an easy block and am making 6 more versions of this block.

3 x 6 Bee Sample


Mug Rug Swap - ship starting before Nov 21st for international and Nov 22nd for domestic.
* It's been decided...I'm doing a "story" mug rug again. I have the idea for this one and I really hope I can pull it off because I think my secret partner will love it. Can't wait to show you...I don't think she'll guess it is for her. I will be starting on that really soon!



Pillow Talk Swap - ship as soon as completed but within 5 or so weeks (they are so relaxed! LOL)
* I have a large portion of this designed already, but have not yet been able to play with the fabric. But once again I am very excited about the design and eager to work on this! My first time in this swap and I have no idea what to expect!



Ravishing in Red Bee - due by the end of November
* two blocks based off of half square triangles...the pattern looks fun and simple! I'm actually excited to be working on those too. (I think I'm sounding super over excited about things, but I am really am excited to do these things)



Pretty in Pink Bee - due by the end of November
* a house block (I know what I'm doing for that Amy! I think you'll like it!) and another coordinating block...haven't quite figured that out.



Busy Bees - due by the end of November
* a hexagon block for Lynne...must create something fabulous as she always does! This will probably involve hand piecing and I will probably do that on my very long card ride to the home town for Thanksgiving.



Bee Modern Too - due by the end of November
* log cabin style blocks from fabulous solids for Ulrike. I should be able to whip these out! Let's hope so! This list is getting long.



The other big debate is whether to make a quilt from my pretty in pink blocks before Thanksgiving so I can give it to our goddaughter while we are in town for Thanksgiving. But I need to get the other commitments done...so I need to figure out how much work that will be. Hmm...maybe I'll go design that now!


So, needless to say, I have a number of projects ready to be started and completed. Thankfully everything should be done well before Christmas. The bees are all taking December off I think. So then I should have some time to make things on MY list. ;) But that's later...


Off to work!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

My Christmas Wish list

So I'm sure it will shock you all to know that on my Christmas wish list is a wide assortment of all things sewing related. Now before anyone gets their panties in a twist over the fact that I'm already making a Christmas list, let me explain that my family will be celebrating Christmas over Thanksgiving because that is when we will all be together! So there. I HAVE to have a list... and my clever brother sets it all up on the internet with passwords for everyone so we can add our own gifts and not see who has bought it. But we can see who has bought what for someone else. It's quite clever...we put links to the objects and image files and everything. Well at least one of my brothers and I do...the rest of my family takes a bit longer to figure that all out. ;)


So now that you are wowed by my brother's ability with computers, let me tell you what I think I want. And then you all can tell me why I should or shouldn't get it! Feedback before Christmas means less returns afterwards! Trust me when I say that my family does much better when we list out exactly what we would like (oh and I forgot to mention that on the website we are able to rank with stars how important we consider the gift! how cool is that?)


There are a few books out there that I don't have that I really would like to. I've seen some mixed reviews, but if there is even one great thing in a book I think that it is worth it. Of course that is probably why I haven't bought them already yet. LOL.


First off I would like "Weekend Sewing" by Heather Ross.

Weekend Sewing: More Than 40 Projects and Ideas for Inspired Stitching

I know that this book has some mixed reviews...but I continue to think about it...so onto the list it goes.  Plus I  just adore that that skirt on the front!  The cover makes me so happy!


I also would love Malka Dubrawsky's newest book coming out soon.


Fresh Quilting: Fearless Color, Design, and Inspiration


She's been showing sneak peaks and I love her bold use of color and the freshness of her designs.  Plus she's really sweet and I like to buy books from people I "know".  




There are some feet attachments that I would like for my sewing machine.  That is one of those things that you never get around to buying for yourself...but how the heck would anyone know which feet I have or want?  (hmm...suddenly I'm thinking that I need new shoes too!)


I would love the give the rolled hem foot a whirl.  The guy at the sewing store said that it can be difficult to master, but I think I'm up for the challenge. ;)


Brother SA126 Snap On 1/4" Inch Wide Narrow Rolled Hem Hemmer All Metal Foot for 7mm Zigzag machines




I would also love to get the pintuck foot as well!  I just love the look of pintucks and with a little girl that I want to sew garments for in the future, I think I could actually find some good use for this!


Brother SA162 Snap-on Metal Pintuck Foot 5 Grooves for Double Needle Heirloom Sewing






And I would love (but know I am not going to get because it is so expensive and not a priority) is the circular attachment for my machine.  I wanted one a couple of years ago and the company didn't make one...of course now they do and I'm not in a position to get it.  Oh well...probably don't really need this anyway, but it's super cool.







And then to help with free motion quilting, I would really like to try the quilt halo and the supreme slider.  Together they are supposed to help have more control over quilting and help it go more smoothly.  


Quilt Halo




Supreme Slider
and of course, for the truly clueless, there is always a gift card to somewhere like Hawthorne Threads.  I could do some damage with that!


Hawthorne Threads Logo Image




So...is there anything that I am missing that I absolutely should have and my brain dead mind is not thinking of?  Or are there strong opinions about these products that I may choose to ignore? ;)   Don't worry...there are a few other things on the list as well..some fiction books and tv series DVDs.  Oh and a flat iron.  I'm so classy these days. :p


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