Friday, April 24, 2009

More Japanese minis

Japanese quilt twin
I finally finished my "twin" to my March Japanese mini-quilt. I think I got a little burned out on the project after I spent so long hand-quilting the first one when I hadn't even finished piecing the second top. Also, my mom's birthday is in April and I thought it would be a good idea to make her a mini-quilt and get her started on a collection of Karissa-made minis (much like the collection I've forced on my gramma), so I had decided to make three of these. Ugh. 

Japanese quilt twin detail
In the end, I decided to just grit my teeth and knock the last two out. I opted for machine-quilting instead of hand-quilting and that was pretty huge. The stipple in the light areas is pretty scribbly, but I'm not a good stippler and my tension was okay, so I don't really mind. 

mom bday quilt 2
I'm glad to finally have these done. I also finished my April "anything goes" minis over the weekend and popped the swap one in the mail on Tuesday. Below is a sneak peek that I posted to the group. It should be received soon, so I'll be able to show the whole thing. 

April STUD sneak peek
Now I'm working on some Mother's Day minis for some special ladies and getting ready for the May STUD mini challenge. The theme is "twisted traditional." I have a lot of ideas floating around and I want to sit with this for a little bit before I decide what to do. I will spend my weekend appliquéing like mad, and also getting ready for a prom party we're going to tomorrow. Corsage and everything! I'm pretty excited about that. 

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Another win!

I was on a roll there for a while, apparently. Way back in January, Kim at True Up asked for fabric-related blogs that she may not have known about. I suggested i heart linen. In March I had an email from Kim saying that she checked it out and became a fan and wanted to send me the Amy Butler Birdie Sling pattern as a thanks. I couldn't say no! 

This pattern arrived a few weeks ago. I like to have a big bag, so I think this pattern will be pretty great for me, but do I have enough fabric to make it?? I just may have to go shopping... 

Thursday, April 16, 2009

April S.T.U.D. received

April STUD quilt rec'd 1
This month, instead of signing up for my swap group's theme (spring flowers), I decided to try the "anything goes" category. While my quilt has yet to be quilted and bound, I received the one from my partner, Quiltinkimmie, on Monday night! Plus it came with all this extra stuff: 

April STUD rec'd
I feel so spoiled! I love the colors in this, especially the sage that is in all of the fabrics. It's so simple, but so effective. I really need to wrap up my quilt + twin for this month, and I hope to get that done this weekend so I can mail it Monday or Tuesday. 

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Birthday wrap-up

thimble necklaces
So, in case you didn't know, my birthday was last Wednesday, 4/8. It was a pretty good one. Last year I found out that I share my birthday with Jane Stickle, which I think is very auspicious, no? Anyway, the day started out great, with an early-morning login to my Facebook account to find a message on my wall from (squee!) Mark Lipinski! A little "Happy Birthday, cupcake!" was all I needed to get off to a great start! There were many other wonderful things about my day, including LOTS of cake and a fabulous Indian feast with 7 awesome friends, but you want to see the loot, right?!? 

thimble necklace 2
It's a bit of an odd story about these thimble necklaces. I saw an ad for the Octopus Parlour Etsy shop in BUST magazine, looked it up, and loved the necklace! So I sent a link to it to my mom, husband, and favorite coworker. Said coworker immediately purchased the one pictured above and then got everyone on my floor to pitch in (there are 7 of us on the mezzanine). 

thimble necklace 1
Turns out my husband didn't see the coworker on the email and knew my mom was sending me money, so he tried to purchase the same necklace, but it was gone, so he got this other one. When I showed up to work on my birthday with the necklace on, said coworker's face fell and she confessed what had happened. So, I kept them both, and I love them both! They look different, as you can see, and the antique one is actually a good inch+ longer, so they work with different tops. Can a girl have too many indie handmade thimble necklaces?? 

bday from James
I also got these sweet gifts from my friend and coworker James. I've never done any amigurumi crochet, but these animals are so so cute! I'm thinking Christmas presents for the entire office... Plus I've made a bunch of sock monkeys using the Red Heel socks before, but never a sock elephant! I may have to try that one. 

towel from JJ
This gorgeous quilty towel was a gift from my friend JJ and comes from Lands End. How sweet is this?!?

BeeSquare fabrics
Aaaand of course, more fabric. These 7 (!!) yards were a gift to myself from the check from my mom, all ordered from Bee Square Fabrics (which is having a 35% off moving sale, which is how I ended up with 7 yards!). There are three yards of the Anna Maria Horner Small Gathering, one each of the Filigrees, and one each of the Heather Ross Mendocinos. And look how well they go together! I swear, I didn't even plan for this. 

So, wrapping it up, my birthday was great, and I'm looking forward to another wonderful year of work, friends, and craftiness. 

Monday, April 13, 2009

My weekend of half-square triangles

half-square triangles 2
Not this past weekend, but the weekend before. (I sure am behind on updating the blog--sorry!) My LQS offered a day-long workshop to do a "stash-buster" quilt. It's really easy: 256 6" blocks, combined in pairs of lights and darks, turned into half-square triangles, and then arranged in a pattern of your choosing (I'm thinking barn-raising, because instead of lights and darks I have a lot of mediums). The quilt is one step beyond the photo above: It's been pressed and the dog-ears are trimmed off. Next is layout, and then sewing it all together... 

April STUD cut
Here's a little sneak peek at my April S.T.U.D. mini-quilt swap. The theme is "spring flowers," but I decided I was a little flower-ed out after this mini and this one, so I signed up for the "anything goes" category instead. This project is much further than in the photo--yesterday I finished piecing the top for the swap and my "twin," and finished embroidering the labels. All that's left is quilting and binding... 

Back later this week with a birthday wrap-up and maybe some more peeks at the April mini. 

Monday, April 6, 2009

Buttercup Bag

Buttercup bag 1
A couple of weeks ago I finally got around to making the Buttercup Bag from this free pattern at Made by Rae. It's pretty easy, and I made it even easier by omitting the magnetic clasp and the pocket. I did use interfacing on the outer fabrics and in the strap because I wanted it to have a little more shape. These are Michael Miller fabrics that are just so fun. 

Buttercup bag inside
Here's the inside. You can see, on the left, a little selvage loop I included. I keep my keys on a clasp that I hook on there, which has been helping me locate them on my way home (definitely necessary!). I like this bag, but it's small, especially since I'm used to carrying around my Wasp Bag. This would be good for weekends and errands, but it certainly can't hold my book and/or magazine, iPod, phone, etc. etc. 

Part of the problem is that I didn't add a closure, but part of it is that my wallet is just too big to fit in much of anything. I have seen a couple of quilted wallet tutorials online, but nothing that seems good enough to replace what I have (though making it smaller). Also, I don't want to have a separate change pouch, but most wallets don't seem to deal with that aspect. Anyone have any tutorials that they can suggest? I have some ideas floating around in my head of how to make a fabric version similar to what I currently have. I may just need to go that route. 

Friday, April 3, 2009

Yoga pants

yoga pants 1
These are the "wear anywhere yoga pants" from the book SEW. I made these in one evening. I thought the pattern was super easy and the result is comfy. 

yoga pants 2
For these pants, I used a cotton/poly blend flat sheet from Target. I used the top hem part as the "cuff" of the pants and did not do a hem. As a result, I underestimated by about an inch and cut the pants a little too short. Oh well. These are comfy, as you can imagine--who doesn't love the feel of sheets? I can see myself lounging around the house in these, or wearing them as pjs. 

This was my first garment sewing in a while and a warm-up. Next I will be tackling some of the projects in Weekend Sewing, which I'm excited and a little nervous about. I have a bunch of quilting to do before I get to that point, though, so stay tuned. 

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Last Blooming Nine-Patch post, I promise

BNP finished 2
I've already posted about this quilt a bunch of times, but here's my finished, washed, and dried Blooming Nine-Patch quilt. The pattern is from the book Tradition with a Twist, and all fabrics are from Anna Maria Horner's Garden Party line. 

BNP finished on bed
Here's the finished quilt on our bed. We have a full-sized mattress, and our usual quilt is queen-sized. This one is meant to be dragged around by me for TV watching and thrown on the bed at night if we want that extra layer of warmth. It's not big enough to live on the bed full-time, but it is a sizeable lap quilt. 

BNP detail 3
I napped under this on the futon on Sunday afternoon while Rob was watching basketball. It was glorious. 

BNP detail 6
Here's a detail of one of my favorite parts--and there are SO many to love--the outward loops of the last row of squares and the inward loops in the setting triangles. 

Okay! Phew! More posts soon about some non-quilt sewing I've done in the last couple of weeks. Happy Thursday! Happy April!