Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Progress being made..

So, I have completed the Star Wars quilt top and here's what we've got so far..

I was planning on using Crest in Lilac from the Shelburne Falls line for most of the backing, but will need to piece quite a bit to make it work.  I have some left over Star Wars fabric and then I will just have to see what I do about the rest.

This is a quilt top that I finished several months ago and it is for my oldest son.  He picked out this Riley Blake line, called Stars & Stripes, because he likes red & blue and the good ol' US of A.

I planned on backing it with this minky (I think that's what it's called) fabric.  I am a little intimidated to quilt it because it is really slinky and slippery and stretchy, but alas, forward I march.

Today I got in my fabrics from the Modern Low Volume Fat Quarter Swap.  Behold..

I also got in a fat eighth bundle of Happy-Go-Lucky by Bonnie and Camille for Moda from Knotted Thread's etsy shop.  This line is so pretty!  I already have several Thimble Blossoms patterns, like the famous SwoonJuggle and Fireworks.  I'm thinking about going with Fireworks with this fabric stack.

I took advantage of some of Missouri Star Quilt Co.'s daily deals and landed a Glimma layer cake and a Happy-Go-Lucky layer cake (I guess I really like this fabric line, huh?).

My in-laws are flying in from Panamá on Sunday and I'm excited for their visit.  When they're here, I really don't have to cook, wash clothes or dishes or clean much of anything.  I don't ask my mother-in-law to do this, but she just does it anyway and over the years, I've learned to not get in her way.  There are a few disadvantages though, such as sleeping in the living room, since we don't have an extra bedroom, and, when they leave, none of my dishes are where they are supposed to be.  I think I still come out ahead on the deal regardless.

I want to make them a quilt to take back with them to decorate their bed with (it will not likely ever be used for covers since it's never colder than 75°F down there), so I've started trying to think about patterns and colors I could use.  Maybe I could make a table runner instead?  I already made my suegra (Spanish for mother-in-law; I'm fluent in Spanish fyi) an apron, so maybe some coasters and pot holders?  What would I make for my suegro?  Hmm... things to think about.  Any suggestions?

I joined another swap..

These are becoming a little addictive.  I'm currently involved in a fabric basket swap, modern low volume fat quarter swap, over the rainbow charms swap and now I am signed up for Lia's Handmades Secret Tote Bag Swap.  I resisted signing up all month long, thinking that I might be getting in over my head, but then I realized that I've already done my part on all the aforementioned swaps, so I typed and clicked my way into sweet participation.

In the flickr group, you create an inspirational mosaic so that your partner can get a pretty good idea of what you would like to receive.  Here's mine:

1. spring tote with grommets, 2. market totes, 3. Charley Harper Inspired Embroidered Tote, Simplicity 2685, 4. Flowing Dots Tote, 5. Jacqui's Tote of Many Colors, 6. Fabric Stack, 7. Scrappy Patchwork Weekender Bag, 8. navy teal coral, 9.Mosaic for 4x5, 10. Quilted Weekender Bag, 11. Sample Block ~ 4 X 5 Bee ~ 2013 Q1 ~ Hive 1, 12. Pretty little pouch swap finished... the back, 13. Wonky Bee, 14. Fairytale Forest quilt close up, 15. Pleated tote, 16. Tote Sewing

Deadline for sign up is tomorrow, May 29, so you still have time.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Summer break has started..

We finished up our home school year last Friday, so this past Monday, we had an end of the school year party.  We had pizza and cupcakes, watched a movie and did some fun science experiments.  We also made that gloopy Borax and glue mixture that should provide at least 3 months' worth of entertainment, right?  

The older kids will still have some summer reading to do, as well as an occasional math worksheet.  I am paying for a subscription to abcmouse.com for my youngest and so far I like it pretty well, so he'll be doing that frequently during the summer.

I have big and vague crafty plans for the summer.  Big because I want to get a lot done and vague because I don't know exactly what I want to do, but I'm sure that will resolve itself in time.  As for right now, I just finished my Easiest Sew Along Ever project.  I used this tutorial to do a QAYG pouch, but only followed it for the QAYG portion and put the rest together by myself.  I definitely learned some things, like how important it is to edge stitch on the sides of the zipper, since the lining fabric got good and stuck and I nearly ended up ripping it apart.  I did a little edge stitching after the fact, which looks ugly, but solved the problem.  Also, I learned that seam rippers are not indestructible.  I tried to pry out the corners of the pouch a little more and this is what happened.  

Overall, I like it a lot, especially the way it feels.

I have made progress on a Star Wars quilt I am making for my nephew.  I have all the blocks cut out and the center panel (see below) ready, so now I just need to sew everything together and baste and quilt and bind.  Easy peasy.

I got the idea for the center panel from this picture on flickr.  I love that Constellations print as the background.  The stars really seem to stand out and twinkle when looking at it in person.  I would really like to get a bundle of this line before it is hard to find.


Monday, May 20, 2013

Thinking about Oklahoma

Tornadoes are just a way of life around here in tornado alley for about 6 months of the year.  Just last Wednesday, the tornado sirens were going off in my town and there were a series of touchdowns in several local counties, including my own.  Several people died.

When these events happen, we stay alert and cram ourselves into the little closet under the stairs if need be.  Thankfully, we have never been through a tornado ourselves and we pray that we never are.

Today, Oklahoma suffered a catastrophic tornado that has taken the lives of over 50, including many children.  It doesn't matter if you are in a bathroom or closet if your house or building is ripped apart beam by beam.  I cannot fathom the terror the victims felt as it bore down on them nor the desperation of the parents while looking for their children.  I am praying that the peace of God, which passes all understanding, floods through the hearts and minds of all those affected by this tragedy.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

My first QAYG project

For the Easiest Sew Along Ever I decided to do a rainbow pouch and am following this tutorial from Lori H. Designs blog.  I adjusted the size down a little bit since all I had on hand was a 7" zipper.  Here's my progress so far...

This pic taken via Instagram looks a little washed out.  I can't wait to finish it up, but I have to pace myself to make it last until the sew along is over in 2 weeks.  I think it will be a little too small for my liking and it will be tough sewing the zipper on given the thickness of the exterior, but we will prevail in the end!

Happy Mother's Day to everyone!  Last year my husband bought me a gift certificate for a massage and a facial and he said my gift this year is that I actually get to use it.  Yep, I still have not gone yet.  Hopefully this week sometime.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Name it and claim it..

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I was a pattern tester!!

Have you been to Shannon's blog Little Kids Grow?  She is super creative and clever when it comes to clothing and her posts are always so upbeat and positive.  I have plans to make the Double Key Quick Knit Top as soon as I find the right fabric and the Bubble Top would be perfect for my daughter in the upcoming hot summer months.  

Shannon has started a new PDF pattern line and will be publishing a monthly newsletter to announce new pattern releases, free e-patterns and special discounts.  Sign-up will be available later this week (possibly starting tomorrow) and, as a special treat, everyone that signs up for the newsletter will receive a free pattern for the Layla Beret, which is what I tested.

I was excited to be able to do this, since I had never tested a pattern before.  As far as clothing goes, I've made 2 pairs of pajama pants and some aprons (are those even considered clothing?), so I am definitely a beginner.  It took me about 2.5 hours to complete, starting with printing out the pattern and ending with the optional hand-sewn flower embellishment.  I think if I make another one, it would probably take about an hour or so.  It is a very cute design and although my daughter does not like to wear hats normally, I think she enjoyed posing for me.  I used Essex Linen in Natural for the beret and just a solid pink I had on hand for the flower.  

I think that Shannon did a great job with this pattern and I look forward to seeing what new things she'll be coming out with soon. 

Also, Shannon has a feature on her blog called Motivation Mondays that provides a weekly dose of encouragement.  She has developed that into its own website, by the same name.  These posts help me to start the week off right by grounding myself in my faith.  I sincerely enjoy these posts.

Please do yourself a favor and take a look at both of Shannon's blogs and sign up for her newsletter.

(Just so you know, although it may sound like I was compensated for my opinions, I was not.  I just really love what Shannon's got going on.)

Friday, May 3, 2013

Check it out: Easiest Sew Along Ever...

I came across this sew along yesterday and immediately joined in the fun.  The Easiest Sew Along Ever is posted on Windsor and Main's website.  Join the flickr group, too.  There are some great prizes to be won.  First step is to add a picture of the fabrics you plan to use to the flickr group, so on that note, here are my fabric choices...

I'm thinking maybe a pouch.  I'd really like to do a pillow, but I do not own a pillow form therefore, I would have to go out and buy one and that would be breaking rule 2 of the sew-a-long, which is "Use what you have".

Monday, May 6th is Giveaway Day at Sew, Mama, Sew! and I am seriously contemplating the idea of possibly considering the prospect of maybe pondering over the idea of participating as a giveaway-er.  I know that I entered giveaways like a crazy woman the last Giveaway Day and even though I didn't win anything, I found a lot of great blogs.  And therein, as they say, lies the rub.  This is not a great blog.  I have no beautiful design aesthetics, no tutorial pages, no finished quilts eye candy, which is what I love to see in other blogs.  I am not throwing a pity party for myself, but I am being realistic.  I know that I am the one who controls what this blog looks like and what the contents are and I just don't think it's anywhere near where I would want it to be before I invite the masses in to look around.  I think I'm not going to participate this round and will make it my goal to have this blog in shape for the next time.  Sound good?

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Why don't I just go to bed?

It's 5 minutes to 1 a.m. and I am sleepy.  I just want to post something real quick, then I'll go lay down.  I got the Spring 2013 Modern Quilts Unlimited issue in the mail last week and saw some great projects in there, like this one...

 and this one...

My fabrics ordered from Pink Chalk Fabrics for the Retro Rubies QAL also arrived.  I think they will really turn out well.

I also ordered a scrap pack (I love the surprise fabrics!) and I got some pretty great fabrics, like a little Full Moon Lagoon, Dear Stella J'Adore Paris Map in canvas, Cherry on Top by Keiko, Bowling Pins from Asbury, Cherry Christmas (I think that's right) by Aneela Hoey...

a little Pearl Bracelet, Chicopee, Novella also.  

Also, I am participating in the Fabric Basket Swap (see button to the side) and just finished up the actual baskets themselves (tutorial here).  Now I need to see what kinds of goodies and I can pull together and get it packaged and sent.  This is my first swap, so I'm pretty excited about it.