Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Ripping Stitches for Relaxation

Sigh. It’s been an incredibly stressful week at work. Wait. I take that back. It’s been an incredibly stressful month at work. My wonderful and amazing fiancé went to Las Vegas on Sunday night for a conference so I was looking forward to a little R&R (Rest & Re-craft-ation) while he was out of town. It never works out the way you want it to, does it? Monday night I didn’t end up leaving the office until after 12:30 AM so, of course, I went straight to bed when I got home. Then last night, after an even worse day at work, I at least got home before 9 pm. My machine is still in the shop because I haven’t been able to pick it up so I have the very relaxing pleasure of ripping stitches out of Yasmine’s quilt. I mean, really, is there anything more relaxing than ripping out stitches. Tight little stitches that want to hold on for dear life because the tension was off and my machine wasn’t cooperating with my new walking foot. Arugh! That’s how I like to unwind. At least I could watch the Olympics while I was working on it. I’ve almost got ‘em all out… almost. And wonderful and amazing fiancé is back from his trip so he’s going to pick up my machine for me tomorrow. He’s so great. I can’t wait until I can start sewing my stress away again. You know what, I'm gonna share a couple pictures from my recent trip to Australia that puts me in a happy place...

"Tide Flowing Out at Four Mile Beach" Port Douglas, Queensland, Australia

"Happy Hour Prawns" Port Douglas, Queensland, Australia

Friday, February 19, 2010

Good News, Bad News

Sewn Together is now full so April, Paula and I are working to get things ready so we can get this bee started. I’m very excited. April has the first month and is all geared up to get her fabric in the mail. I can’t wait to see what she has in store of us. So that’s some good news. But of course there is bad news. A few weeks ago I bought a free motion foot and a walking foot for my machine and the walking foot set me back a little. Yasmine’s quilt sandwich has been ready but I haven’t had a moment to start quilting. Well, last night my wonderful and amazing fiancé told me to have the night to myself since I’ve been working late so much. So I got home, turned on the Olympics, made a quick dinner and pulled out the sewing machine. I was able to get the new walking foot on the machine without a hitch but it’s not working properly. The quilt isn’t feeding through the machine unless I pull it through, which is making the stitch length and tension all wonky. ARUGH! I tried adjusting the tension on the machine to no avail. Sigh. Wonderful and amazing fiancé is going to try and bring the machine in for me today so it can get tuned up and they can try and get to the bottom of the problem, but that means I won’t get my machine back for a few days. There goes my plan to finish quilting Yasmine’s quilt this weekend with wonderful and amazing fiancé is out of town. ARUGH!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Lost Art

I was going to post some pictures of my old projects and, sadly I can’t find them. I swore I had them on my external hard drive. I always took pictures of the baby blankets I made for friends before I gifted them, alas I can’t find them. It’s very sad. It adds to the frustration I’ve had with my hard drives lately. I love photography and wish that some day I could give up my day job (as much as I absolutely love what I do it is an extremely high stress environment full of long nights and weekends) and make a living as a travel photographer and writer. So I was quite upset when I discovered that the hard drive I use to store all of my photography was corrupted. Even more shocking was the price tag to recover the data, a whopping $1500. Yes, you heard me correctly. So my wonderful and amazing fiancé and I scoured all of our other hard drives and discovered that I, thankfully, had backed up more than I thought so all I am missing is my trip to Australia this past summer. While I am distraught over losing those pictures it’s not worth the price tag to recover them. And at least I posted my favorites from that trip on facebook so while I will never have the original files to make prints (it kills me!) I can at least post them at a resolution good enough for the web. So I suppose the point of my digression is back up your files… often! As for the missing photos of my old projects, that still is a mystery. The files are old enough they should have been on the back up drive. Hmmm…

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Diving in Head First

As I have been scouring the internet, gathering inspiration both for my quilts and my wedding, I’ve recently discovered virtual quilting bees. Of course, all the bees I found were full but I was lucky enough to stumble upon two other women in my same predicament and we’ve decided to start our own bee. I was a little apprehensive about jumping in and actually hosting a bee (of course the Producer in me couldn’t resist) but the other two ladies I’m hosting with are in the same boat so we’re all learning together. Our bee, Sewn Together, already has seven members, so we’re a mere five people short of filling up our bee. Our goal is to kick off the bee in March, so hopefully we can fill out the ranks in the next few days so we can get things started.

Along with this inspiration and burst of confidence, I also joined a Red & Aqua bee that was close to capacity. So it looks like I’ll be involved in two bees this year. I’ve always been one to throw myself into a new project with passion and drive so why should my new-found love of quilting be any different? I’m really excited to see how both bees turn out and soon I’ll have two new quilts of my own thanks to the avid quilters in my bees.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Yasmine's Quilt Top

My dear friend, Yasmine, is having her second baby in March and it’s another boy! I usually make my pregnant friends crocheted baby afghans but now that I’ve learned a brand new skill I’ve decided to start making quilts instead. I’m not going to give up crocheting. I just find it’s easier and quicker for me to complete a quilt than an afghan right now. Yasmine’s theme for this little one is “Planes, Trains and Automobiles” so I’ve been searching for some cute fabrics that reflect this theme. And let me tell you, it wasn’t easy. At first I wasn’t thrilled with the fabric choices I made (do you sense a theme here?) but now that I’ve finished the quilt top I’ve feeling a lot better.

Yasmine's Quilt Top 1

I think it’s really coming together. My goal was to have it finished for her baby shower on Saturday, but the night I had set aside to finish the quilt top turned into a late night at the office so that didn’t happen. The baby’s not due until March 15th so I still have time, thankfully. Here’s the finished quilt top. I got inspiration for the design from I’m Just a Guy Who Quilts. I just adored his quilt. My quilt keeps with the “Planes, Trains and Automobiles” theme and I used a lightweight denim to tie in the blues and give the quilt a more masculine feel.

Yasmine's Quilt Top 2

I must admit I did start out cutting 6” squares and then realized that I messed up on several stacks cutting them only 4” so I had to cut all my squares down to 4” to match. We all learn from our mistakes, right? I spent Sunday afternoon making my quilt sandwich but ran out of safety pins when I reached the final corner, ugh! I don’t think I’m going to have time to start quilting it until the weekend after next so this project is on hold for a moment. Although maybe I can get an hour or two in on Valentine’s Day (if my wonderful and amazing fiancé doesn’t mind).

Yasmine's Quilt Top 3