Wednesday, July 14, 2010

When I Can't Quilt I Shop...


My wonderful and amazing fiance is going to be so mad at me by the time I get home from this trip! I finished up Dan and Sara's baby quilt soon after I arrived into San Francisco on the first leg of the trip. I did bring a scrap of fabric from that quilt with me so I could try my hand at some hexies, but with no machine and little fabric, alone on the road for a month what's a quilting girl to do? Buy Fabric, of course!

I was able to restrain myself in San Francisco, although I am not as good as you may think. I had it all plotted out in my head. My only "free" days in the city (and I use the word free lightly because I have a ton of work to do even on the days we're not shooting) were July 3 - 5. I knew everything would be closed on the 4th and most fabric stores would also be closed on the 5th for the American holidays so my plan was to sneak into the city to my favorite fabric stores on the morning of the 3rd, right after I got my pedicure. Instead, I ended up on a plane headed home for the holiday.

But there were so many good Fourth of July sales out in the webisphere that I had to do a little indulging and fatten up my stash. (My wonderful and amazing fiance just received the first shipment the other day. He's home. I'm not. Just wait until the other two show up!)

Then today I needed a little retail therapy so a co-worker and I slipped out this morning and we made visit to a couple of Houston's finest fabric stores. We picked out fabrics for her because I promised to make her a new Set Bag as soon as I get home. And of course I couldn't escape without a little present for myself! I limited myself to three half yard cuts. How could you pass up a little Spa and some Nicey Jane? Come on?

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Dan and Sara's Baby Quilt is Done!

I finally finished Dan and Sara’s baby quilt and I’m sending it to it’s new home. I met Dan through my wonderful and amazing fiancĂ©. And when Dan met Sara we were so glad to have her join our group of friends. Even more than that, it was so good to see Dan happy!


Last Summer Dan and Sara got married on a hilltop in Malibu. It was a gorgeous setting and such a fun party! The best part of their wedding was probably the Maid of Honor’s toast. Sara had kept the very first voicemail she ever received from Dan and the Maid of Honor played it for everyone. It was a riot.


Not soon after their honeymoon Dan and Sara discovered that they were pregnant. It was quick but they thought it might take a while to get pregnant so they were elated. And Now Dan and Sara are ready to welcome a baby girl into their lives. She could arrive any day now! So I made this quilt for her, and them. Sara is like me, and decidedly “not a pink girl” (even though I do often wear hot pink streaks in my hair!) so I went for green. Yes, green is my favorite color, but I love green for a baby quilt. It’s neutral, it’s calming, it’s earthy. I did slip some hot pink in there since they are having a girl.


I “stitched in the ditch” when I was quilting and I attempted to use a contrasting hot pink thread in the bobbin but the tension was off on my machine and the hot pink started peeking through the quilt top. Since I was on a time crunch I ripped out the stitches and replaced the pink bobbin with the green.


I tried something a little different with the binding. I saw this great scrappy binding tutorial on Crazy Mom Quilts and tried it. I love how it turned out! I will definitely use this technique again. Really, it’s not much different than making regular binding, there are just more seams and pieces to put together.


I am packaging up the quilt today and sending it home from Texas tomorrow! One less thing for me to pack and I need as much space in my luggage as I can get. I swear, when I left on this business trip my bag only weighed 47 lbs. and somehow I picked up another 5 lbs. in San Francisco! Yikes! I need to drop 2 lbs here in Houston somehow.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

I Was Featured!

The baby quilt I made for my friends Dan and Sara was featured at Finished Fridays! Just follow the link below and check it out!

Finished Friday Feature Tag
It was late and I was really tired when I wrote my description of the project. I should have proofed it one more time. It was a little redundant, in fact I could have left off the last bit entirely, but what can you do? So forgive me that but take a look. I'll be sharing the finished project on my own blog soon.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Thread Stash

The folks at Sew Mama Sew are musing about thread at the moment, and why not? Thread is essential and I have amassed a small collection that has traveled with me over the years. In fact, some of the threads in my collection were passed down to me from my Grandmother’s stash. I inherited her crafty things when she died seven years ago. I even abandoned my sewing basket for hers – not because it was better but because it was hers.


Sew Mama Sew is asking the questions, so I am answering…

1) How did you select colors for your personal thread collection? My thread collection has been growing over the years. Usually I buy thread to coordinate with a project I am working on and then the leftover spool joins the stash. But, as I mentioned earlier, I have also added to my collection in other ways like merging Grandma Patsy’s stash with my own. It’s like having a little bit of her with me in my projects.

2) Do you always match the color perfectly to your project? Well that all depends. When I am working on making garments or if I know the thread is going to be seen, like when I topstitch, I do my best to match the color as close as possible. That said, now that I’ve started quilting I have become a lot more lax about matching my thread to my project, especially when I am piecing a quilt.

3) Do you ever use contrasting thread? Sometimes, especially if I want to make a statement and I want the thread to stand out.

4) Do you use the same color in the bobbin as the upper thread? Yes, I do… most of the time. When I am piecing I can be a little lax about this but the bobbin thread is usually “close enough” in color. I have been known to use a contrasting thread in the bobbin if I want to make a statement on the back of a quilt, say. But it’s always imperative to make sure your tension is spot on when working that way!

Embroidery Thread from Guatemala

5) What if a fabric has big areas of very different colors? This depends on the project I am working on. If the thread will be visible then I pick a thread I think will match best. Most of the time I would stick to a lighter color thread but there are times when aesthetically I will go with a dark thread.

6) Do you have any tips or suggestions about choosing thread? Don’t get so hung up on finding the perfect match. Sometimes there is none and that is okay close enough is just as good near perfect. Be flexible and creative and sometimes your thread can surprise you. It doesn’t have to be so utilitarian. The more you experiment with thread the better.

7) Can you show us a picture(s) of your thread collection? Unfortunately I am away from my stash until the end of the month (an also my hard drive with most of my pictures) so the best I can do right now is posted.

My textile "booty" from Guatemala

8) Do you ever buy thread because you fall in love with the color (without a particular project in mind)? Not as much as I should but I have been known to do so every once in a blue moon.

9) Do you “invest” in thread? I suppose I do a bit although I’ve never thought about it that way before.

Metallic Thread from Guatemala

10) What types of thread do you have? (elastic, quilting, all-purpose, wool, etc.) My collection is mostly all-purpose cotton thread but I do have some heavy duty, quilting and a couple awesome metallics in my stash for good measure. WAIT! How could I forget all of my embroidery thread? I have a ton and I'm always adding more, in fact I bought some on my recent trip to Guatemala but I'm not sure what I'm going to do with it yet...

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

I Heart Binding


I love binding quilts. I really do. Yes, at some times it can be tedious work. And yes, my hands can sometimes cramp when I've been working for hours, but there is something so therapeutic and relaxing about sewing by hand.

Since I am on the road this month for work I had to abandon my sewing because, frankly, it's pretty damn impractical to take a sewing machine on the road with me! But I knew that I would need a good stress release on this trip so I worked to get the quilt I am making for Dan and Sara's baby quilted and the binding attached before I left town. So when I come "home" at night after a long, stressful day on set I simply settle in with a glass of wine and the quilt and I bind.

It's funny, when I took my first quilting class in January I was sure that binding was going to be the bane of my existence. But I love it. It makes me feel really connected to each project - like each hand stitch is a little bit of me in the quilt. Silly? I don't think so. I bet there are others like me out there. Are you one?

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Great Giveaway!

I just found a great giveaway (and another amazing blog that I had yet to discover) over here...

Check it out!

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Fourth of July Surprises

I have been in San Francisco all week on a shoot. We were dark yesterday and today, obviously. My wonderful and amazing fiance was going to fly up to the city to celebrate the Fourth of July with me in the City but yesterday he had the brilliant idea that maybe I should come home instead since I won't have an opportunity to get home again for awhile. Thanks to Southwest Airlines I was home in no time. It was crazy and spontaneous. I literally walked into my hotel room, threw a bra and my computer into my set bag and hopped on the Bart as my wonderful and amazing fiance was purchasing a ticket for me.

So I am home for the holiday. I get to see my wonderful and amazing fiance, our dog Jack, our veggies in the garden AND the first blocks are back for Marc's Quilt! I thought I was going to have to wait to see these amazing blocks until the end of the month so it was a nice little treat, the cherry on top, if you will. Mary and Paula were quick little Bees and got me their blocks with incredible speed. Mary's blocks look just as good in person as they do in the photos she posted last week!

Originally uploaded by scruffycat1970

Originally uploaded by scruffycat1970

But that's not all! There are even more July Blocks on their way home! Graham and Amy posted pictures of their blocks on our Flickr group last night and they're looking great! I just had to share. I can't wait to see this quilt come together.

holly's blocks
Originally uploaded by gnittinknam