Thursday, August 29, 2013

A Long Since Finished Project

I got married just over a year ago.  I had 6 amazing bridesmaids and I wanted to show them how much they meant to me.  So I made them a small collection of fun stuff, because giving people stuff is a great way to say thank you!

Each woman got an envelope (far left) which I bought at an etsy fair.  I was going to write each of them a note and put them in the envelope, but I ended up using our thank you note postcards instead.  They didn't fit in the envelopes, so the ladies can use the envelopes for their own devices!

They each then got a small notebook (far right) that I had made from an old school calendar/organizer that my brother never used.  The pages inside are lined and the outsides are pictures from the beginning of each month.  I like little things and I had these and thought they'd be a fun little object to have thrown in a purse.

Of course if you have paper, you need a pen!  Those pill looking objects are actually capsule pens that open up like this...

Capsule Pen

I got them at an awesome shop in NYC called Pylones.  A dangerously fun place to browse.

Then to have a place to put all these little things, I made each of them a clutch (back center) using the same design as I did for these clutches, except I added a lining to these.  I used fabric left over from some table toppers I made for my reception.  I patchworked the greens and blues together and used some off-white with sparkles (oooh, sparkles) for the lining.  I'd love to do a tutorial on them...when I have a sewing room again.

Finally, to make the look come together as they're toting all this awesomeness around, I made them each scarves.  (Light weight for spring/summer/early fall).  The fabric came from shirts and skirts that I had bought or found and thought the patterns would be great for some sewing project, but never got around to using them. They're all slippery and fun.  They're a super simple gift.  (Another possible tutorial?)  I love them all.

I hope they enjoy these gifts.  They were so awesome, it was the only way I could think to thank them! So thank you ladies!  You know who you are! 

See you soon!
(with a few fun tutorials!?!)

p.s.  We had ugly green carpets and dark green couches and photographing these beauties was getting frustrating.  So I took one of our soft fuzzy blankets that was white and laid it over the couch and used that as the backdrop.  The other couch blocks the light a little, but it's sooooo much better!

Monday, August 26, 2013

Some Inspiration

Life is crazy sometimes.  My husband and I just moved back to Idaho after a 2 month stint in Salt Lake and Seattle.  Of course, we don't have an apartment yet because our previous landlord decided to sell the place, so we're momentarily homeless. 

We are super lucky to have amazing friends who let us crash with them.  I have an idea on how to thank them for this, but I'll keep it secret for now.

We should have a home by the end of the week.  Which would be lovely since my body is telling me I'm stressed.  I keep getting new illnesses that I've never had before and I think it's related to moving, not having a home, starting classes for the semester, starting orchestra again and having my husband working nights.  

On a happy note, these are all images from the Museum of Glass in Tacoma which is soooooo cool!  The best part was the hot shop, a giant cone where they do live glass blowing.  They have guest artists come in and you sit in the stadium seats along one wall and watch them work.  Someone with a microphone explains the process and they have some videos to watch to introduce the artists and their processes.  It was amazing.  (They also have live feed from their hot shop that you can watch on their website!  In case you're not near Tacoma).

I've been seeing quilt designs in everything I look at lately.  It's an exciting but dangerous new vision to have.  For now, though, I have made the promise to only work on 1 (one) quilt at a time.  I read about a lot of quilters that have 20 odd quilts on their list of Works in Progress and I don't know how they do it!  I also don't make quilts any time I have inspiration for it.  I've decided it has to have a purpose, it has to have someone to go to and for a reason before I make it.  It's helping me limit myself and not letting quilting over run my life completely.  (Which part of me would love, but it would probably kill my love of quilting after a few weeks.  Or days.)  I need balance in my life and this is how I hope to maintain it. 

I also don't buy fabric to build up my stash.  I only buy what I need for the one quilt I'm working on.  My Whirlygig quilt was exciting because it didn't take much of the patterned fabric but I had to buy the minimum required 1/8 yd so I have a good amount of leftovers (in comparison to the handful of scraps I usually have).  But typically I try to get the exact amount I need plus a tiny bit of wiggle room.  Like a few inches max.  So I don't really have enough scraps/stash to make any scrappy/stashy quilts yet.  Eventually I will, but for now, I get to shop for every quilt!

This last picture is from the Museum of Flight.  Theres a place there where you can listen to the actual tower workers talking.  Behind the screen is the air strip where the planes land.  And this picture is showing all the planes that were in the air (I think either leaving from or heading to North America) at that time.  Each dot is an airplane!  I don't think I ever thought of how many planes were in the air at a time, but if you had asked me, I would not have guessed this many.  There you go.  Fun mind-blowing information.

See you soon!
(with some more crafting?...meaning hopefully with less unwellness...)

Thursday, August 22, 2013

A Quilting Break ... to work on a lengthy WiP

I decided to take a quilting break and tackle a to do that's been on the list for a while.

I've been working on this cross stitch pattern on and off for the last 2 years.  Notice all the holes in the reflection of the sun set/rise?  I got frustrated because of the randomness of the stitches, so I took a break from it.  I finished the rest of the pattern (minus some stitches that require some blue thread that I ran out of) and was ready to start back stitching the outlines when I realized I had to conquer this fearful task.

And I did it!  I didn't even complain in the process.  It was manageable.  And I feel soooooo good having it done.  Now all those animals really look happy.  Before, I felt their judgmental stares.  Why hadn't I finished their ocean yet?  Now they are delighted, feeling quite swimmingly I'd say.

And here's a little quilt inspiration.  I love tile work! And I love that I can get inspiration out in the world.  So much fun looking for it.  Like a giant, never-ending, rule-less scavenger hunt.  

See you soon!
(with a completed flimsy!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!)

Monday, August 19, 2013

A Quilt Sent, a Giant Made, a Question to Ask

Here it is, my lovely lone star quilt for my niece.  I know I already showed it, but it looks better now, better lighting, better with a husband behind it!

I got up the courage and washed and dried it (I want it to be launderable, no soaking it in the tub or hanging it out to dry, I want it thrown in the wash because it gets so much love).

I know now firsthand the wrinkles everyone mentioned when you wash it for the first time (I hadn't prewashed my fabric).  I like it!  Looks cozy, ready to wrap up in.

I love how the label is camouflaged (Hey, I almost spelled that right the first time! Just forgot the 'u'). 

I can't get over the back.  It's my favorite part.  

Rolling it up to get it sent on its way to a lovely 12 year old!

From her aunt!  Me!!

I had some extra fabric and 2 extra diamonds, so I made some pillowcases to go along with the quilt.  To make the bed cohesive if she'd like to.  They're identical.  Diamond on the front, yellow on the back.

So, I need a little help from my friends.  I'm working this out, but struggling with it.  I made the giant pinwheel for the center of my GillyWhig quilt.  My question is, do I put the small pinwheels around it in a rainbow pattern...

or random pattern...

Thoughts?  Ideas?  I just want it to look the awesomest it can!

See you soon! 
(with more ideas for this quilt hopefully!)

Saturday, August 17, 2013

GillyWhig's Everywhere! a WiP Quilt

This is my GillyWhig Quilt.  I would have called it the WhirlyGig Quilt, but my husband couldn't remember that name.  GillyWhig is what came to his mind.  So GillyWhig it will be called!  (Though he just called it something new - Squirlywiggle. Excuse me, I've been notified that it should be two separate words - Squirly Wiggle.  I like this one a lot.  Looks like I might need to make another quilt!)

It's a round quilt, because I couldn't get those darn 90 degree corners to work!  Well, that's not the only reason, but it's a nice thing to think about!

My husband suggested a pinwheel quilt and I decided I liked the idea, so I found the pinwheel block and created my own design from there.  I like the above pinwheel though, where the lighter color is 2x as large, as opposed to the ones where they're the same size.  This is more like the real whirligiggles.

I/my husband also thought that the wigglewirls were way too pointy, so I used that fancy plate tool to curve off the corners. (Not the ones that met in the center, just at the top of the light triangles.)

I then had to sew curves!! First ever, from what I recall. I used the curved pinwheel as a template for the blue triangle piece.  (It would have been a lot quicker if I had made a real template.  Each one was a little different (darn those plates), so I had to trace each individual blade of the whiggywhirls.  Took much longer.  But it ended eventually!)

Sew those curves! I didn't bother pinning.  There was lots of haphazarding going on, so I was ok w/o pinning and just squaring things up in the end.

The blue end seems a little wonky, just ending in the middle of the side, but with the 1/4 inch seam when I sew it to the blue background, it'll curve nicely into the seam, no odd endings.  I love my rainbow of girlywhigs.

Husband likes the blue and green and purple.  I love the dark orange, red and pink.  (Sorry for the off colors, I'm photographing inside under a yellow bulb at night.)  But that's why there are so many!  So everyone can have a favorite!

I love my pretty rainbow.
What I don't love are blisters.  Like the following blister I got from steam!! Evil steam.

Never have your fingers close to the top of a pot of cooking rice as you take off the lid!  Your finger will blister up and get all shiny and painful!

The only thing I had in the freezer that wouldn't defrost and get all nasty as I sat through a concert that night was a bag of chocolate chips.  They didn't help a great deal with the pain, but they were a tasty treat while I listened to the orchestra!  Chocolate cures everything!

See you soon!
(with fewer injuries, I hope!)

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

My Sights of Seattle

What the family we are staying with owns.  Jealous!!

What greets you when entering the neighborhood park...

The locks, where the boats tie up so perfectly in size order.

Safeco Field - bad night for the Mariners, but a very action filled game after the first 3 or 4 innings.   (And I got to check a major league field off my list and got some cute earrings with the compass logo on them.  Perfect quilt block inspiration.)

What you eat.  Monstrous pizza.  That's an iphone 5 my husband is graciously using to show the size here.  And they say everything's bigger in Texas.  I'd be scared to see their slice!

Those have been some sights here.  Honestly there have been many more but I am not a person to stop what I'm doing to line up a shot, even when it's just on my phone.  But I'm ok with that, though it means fewer photos to share of my travels.  I take a lot more of my handiwork, so you'll see plenty of that!

See you soon!
(with some fun inspiration)

Monday, August 12, 2013

GillyWhig Quilt (WiP)

This is the beginnings.  Oh I am so excited about this quilt.  I'm calling it the GillyWhig Quilt, which I'll explain in a later post.  Check out my fabrics!!!

My husband was up working in Everett, WA for the morning (remember we're in Seattle for the month), so I drove up with him and had an enormously hysterical morning trying to find a cafe in which to enjoy a cup of hot chocolate (yes, it was cold enough to want one! I loved it!) and wait until 9 when the fabric store opened.

But the fabric store was amazing!  My only 'local 'quilt' store' in Idaho is JoAnn, so I was excited to see anything that was different.  I spent 2 hours in the Pacific Fabric & Crafts store picking out the 19 different patterns and colors.  Oh I was in heaven.  I had to carry the bolts up to the cutting table in 3 trips. I had taken over a display table to figure out my choices.  Why don't quilt stores have tables for decision making?  There's never space to lay it out.  But the ladies their were lovely, so it was ok.

So I have darks and lights of each fabric.  And I wanted a curve in the pieces.  So I drew one...

with my fancy curve drawing device...

a plate of course!  (I'd use a compass but I don't own one, shockingly).  I was realizing today that a template would have been a better idea for this step and the following one as well.  Live and learn!  That's what happens when you design your own quilt.

Continuing on with my food adventures, look what I've been eating recently...

... a fresh fig! I'd never had one before last week and it made me feel very naive and sheltered in terms of food (which I don't think I am, but I've only ever had dried fig before.)

It's so funny looking inside, but it's really tasty.  Sort of reminds me of a kiwi, especially with the little pink seeds at the end of the tendrils.

Fun eats, no?

See you soon!
(with more sights of Seattle, methinks...)