Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Marc's Quilt on the Wall


Now that I have my very own design wall I am finally able to start laying out Marc's Quilt that the members of the Sewn Together Bee helped me to make. I have all the blocks, save four, and as I started to lay it all out we notched that only one person decided to make a block that laid the stripes out agains the grain of the wood material.



I played around with a few different layouts and Marc decided that he wanted a few more circles laid out agains the grain integrated into the quilt. I hadn't made any blocks of my own for this quilt yet because I wanted to see how it all came together first. I made two more blocks for the quilt, both with stripes against the grain to pepper into the design.


Everything is now up on the wall and I'm playing around with different layouts. I am going to hold off for another week or so before I start putting it together because two stray blocks are on their way home to me but I should be able to start piecing the top together very soon. I am so excited!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Bento Box Frustrations

Who knew that this little block would prove to be such a BIG problem? This month in the Red & Aqua 2 Bee, Suzy asked us to make her a Modified Bento Box block that measures 16" when finished based off the tutorial found over at Film in the Fridge. I've made this block before, in fact I made it last month from the very same tutorial for Amy in the Sewn Together Bee. So I sat down one night and knocked it out rather quickly.


I always piece with my 1/4" foot so I don't have to worry about my seams. I had one little snafu with an errant rotary cutter, but she had said that we could add fabric from our own stash to the block so that little oops wasn't a big deal. Then I stepped back to admire my work and I have to admit that I really liked how the block turned out. And then I measured... Um, yeah. It measured out to 15" not 16". Even in the tutorial her's ended up at 15.5" but this was 1/2" off of even that! And I am a perfectionist. I love my iron. When I am working my iron is always plugged in and at the ready. I iron every seam. I was so confused and frustrated so I walked away. Sometimes that's the best thing you can do to come back at a project with a clear head.

When I next sat down with this block I took out the trusty seam ripper and decided to start from scratch. Some of my seams I know are well under 1/4" and the finished block didn't make me nearly as happy as the original did but it's closer now 15.5" instead of 15". Sigh. You can't win them all. The most frustrating thing is trying to figure out where I went wrong with these seams. Could it be that my 1/4" foot is slightly off? Perhaps. Sigh. Back to the drawing board.

Monday, October 18, 2010

SavVy {Seasons} Swap Sent


This weekend was really productive. In fact, I just got my package sent off to my secret partner in the SavVy {Seasons} Swap. I really hope she likes everything I'm sending her. I have to admit, when I was first assigned my secret partner I was so excited and had so many ideas percolating in my head but as I stalked her I ruled out some ideas in favor of others. The thing I am most worried about is if she will like the table topper I made for her. When I started creating her goodies I thought table toppers were decorations that you put on top of your table. So I started making the pumpkins and I had the idea to make similar like christmas trees but as I started to research more I saw that many people what many people were calling "table toppers" were more like small table runners. So I made her a small table runner but now I'm worrying that perhaps I should have made a full on table runner for her. Is the smaller table topper enough of a "big" project for her? I am just stressing. I want my partner to like everything I made for her and I am nervous that I fell short on this one. I am such a perfectionist. Ugh. Well, it's in the mail to her and on it's way. Only time will tell.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

My New Design Wall

My design wall is finally finished! We bought the materials a couple of weeks ago but I didn't been able to get around to actually constructing it until yesterday. It was so cheap and super easy to make. We're in the process of turning our finished garage into my sewing space and I knew it wouldn't be complete without a design wall.


I wanted it to be something relatively portable and light so I could move it around if needed. And I didn't want to spend a fortune on it so after a quick trip to Home Depot I settled on some very inexpensive and super light foam insulation. I decided to use two pieces, the thought being that I could hide one behind the other when I am working on smaller projects and I could bring out the second panel and stand them side by side when I am playing around with the larger ones.

The insulation panels ended up being a little too tall for the space but they were easy to cut down. Then I simply used spray adhesive and stretched plain white flannel over each panel and Walla! Instant design walls! Now all I need to do is get rid of the cumbersome, old filing cabinet in the garage so I'm able to actually put both panels side by side.


Finally, I am able to get my wonderful and amazing fiance's quilt blocks up on the wall so I can start playing with the layout and I'll be piecing the quilt top together very soon. Thanks to all the lovely people in the Sewn Together Bee who helped me make these blocks. They're looking so good thanks to all of your hard work. It's starting to come together!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Friday Night Sew-In Aftermath

I participated in my first Friday Night Sew In last night and I wish I had more to show for it. I decided to work on a messenger bag that I am making for my friend Jill, so much of last night was spent cutting and ironing on interfacing. Not one of my favorite things to do. I did get to a little bit of sewing before I realized that I was missing an entire piece of the pattern and I was too lazy to go out to the studio and look for it - and more fabric.

IMG_0622 IMG_0617

So I changed gears for a moment and started piecing together blocks for the Project Linus quilt I am making for A Dozen Quilters Bee this month. Then I headed to bed equipped with a glass of wine, a seam ripper a bee block I am currently battling. (More on that later.)


I hope that next Friday Night Sew-In is more productive, but it felt so nice to have a date night with my sewing machine.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Friday Night Sew-In

Tonight I'm participating in my very first Friday Night Sew-In.

Fridays are difficult for me. If I get out of the office at a decent time then I'm usually committed to doing something with my wonderful and amazing fiance since he doesn't get to see me much during the week. But tonight he's going out with his business partner to a concert and because of a miscommunication on my part they didn't get me a ticket so tonight I'm sewing in!

I have a bee block that should be simple but has proven to be a bit of a head scratcher. I need to rip out a couple seams and try it again. Then I have one more little extra that I would love to finish for my partner in the SavVy {Seasons} Swap. And I am planning to make a little headway on the quilt I am making this month for A Dozen Quilters.

The one thing I won't be doing tonight is dipping into this brand new pile of lovely fabric wonderfulness...


Natalie sent me a discount code the other week to save 25% on Innocent Crush, but my crush on this line is proving to be not so innocent. I couldn't resist. I bought half a yard of every fabric in the line. Eek! I think I went a little overboard! No plans for it quite yet, but I do have it stacked near my workspace so I can admire it as I sew.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Charm Swap Is In

It has been so difficult to post these last two weeks, and not for lack of projects. Thankfully there are a lot of crafty things going on lately but work has been preventing me from posting as much as I want. I am so behind I haven't even had a chance to show off the fantastic charms I received almost two weeks ago from the charm swap Erin hosted.


We traded pink fabric charms and I must admit that pink is not my favorite color (although I do love a nice Hot Pink). But I stuck with the swap anyway because I knew I would be able to find something to do with them. Boy, was I surprised when I saw these little gems in my mailbox. I may actually start liking pink!


And to top it off I think I have the perfect project for them. I recently joined the bee, A Dozen Quilters. They changed up their format this year and now each month someone chooses a charity near and dear to their heart and the others will make a project for that charity. This is the first month and Christy is asking each of us to make a blanket or quilt for Project Linus. I think that these pink charms will help me make a very special little girl a very special quilt of her own.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Adding Final Touches


I've been making some progress on my projects for the SavVy {Seasons} Swap. Just a few more tweaks and I will be totally complete. I really hope my partner likes everything I've created for her. I finished her Table Topper and the garland is also done.
Unfortunately the detail on the quilting on the table topper isn't showing up very well in the pictures. I wanted to keep it simple so I stitched in the ditch around the squares and the tree so the tree would be prominent on the back.


She's also getting a pincushion that I made for her a while back. The last thing to do is finish up her pumpkins. All I have left to do there is to attach the rest of the stems.


I really hope everything is up her alley. My fingers are crossed.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Scrappy Pincushion Swap Received!!!!

OH MY GOD! I don't mean to gush but did you see what was waiting for me when I got home tonight?

Scrappy Pincushion Swap Received!!!

Am I the luckiest girl in the world or what? I've experienced a windfall this week between the SavVy {Seasons} Swap and the Scrappy Pincushion Swap. I came home tonight, after a long day, and not feeling to well to boot, to find the package I have been waiting for sitting on the counter. All it took was a peek at the return address and when I spied Natalie's name I started giggling like a little girl. I knew exactly what was inside.

Scrappy Pincushion Swap Received!

As soon as I saw Natalie post a picture of Freddy on the Flickr group I fell in love. I thought, if this is for me, she has me pegged! Oh please, oh please, oh please be for me. Then she posted a picture of Flor and sincerely, I thought that she made one for her and one for her swap partner, so much to mu surprise when I opened up the package and they were both in there to greet me!


Not only did she create the most perfect pincushions for me EVER, but she also included so many amazing goodies. She absolutely spoiled me rotten! She was so generous with her added fabric scraps in patterns so me, pins, thread scissors, absolutely adorable trim and Freddy even comes with a detachable wrist strap. Eek!


But what made this whole thing even better, Natalie of Threaded Mess is one of my blogging buddies and she's so extremely talented. It just makes this all the more special. So Natalie, my friend, I thank you from the very bottom of my heart for your thoughtfulness, generosity and friendship. You are absolutely amazing and I will cherish Freddy and Flor! Thank you for making me do a happy dance around my kitchen and confirming to my wonderful and amazing fiance that I am completely bonkers. You're the best!

Making Progress on the SavVy {Seasons} Swap

So my amazing partner isn't the only one who has been busy with the SavVy {Seasons} Swap. I actually have been getting things done, too. Last weekend while I was participating in our annual Family Olympics (I brought home two Golds and a Silver) I was also working on stuffing and stitching up some candy canes for my secret partner.


And I was up early this morning, thanks to some bad salmon, and since I couldn't sleep I decided to finish wrapping my presents for her. The ribbon will be trimmed up as soon as I finish this project.


The idea is to combine the candy canes with the presents to make a festive holiday garland. I am planning to string them together with some Sugar 'n Cream cotton yarn to keep it natural and rustic.


I have changed my mind several times about my "big" project for her. I can't go into the particulars on why I have changed my mind just in case she reads this, but I think I finally settled on making her a table topper. I got inspired the other day and started working on it, improv style and it's starting to come together. But I guess I'm not 100% sold yet that she'll like the fabrics I'm putting together yet. So I stepped away and I am going to come back to it over the weekend and finish it up.


Lots of things happening, partner. I just hope you like everything!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

The SavVy {Seasons} Swap Received

The SavVy { Seasons } Swap Received!

I have been checking my mailbox in anticipation every night as soon as I get home counting the moments until I receive the pincushion from my partner in the Scrappy Pincushion Swap. It should be here any day now. But there was another surprise waiting for me last night. I received a package from the amazing Darci of Stitches and Scissors. Turns out this early bird was my talented secret partner in The SavVy {Seasons} Swap and she had an early special delivery for me! Just look!


How lucky am I? I had asked for something in Fall colors or silver and blue for Winter / Chanukah. I love fall colors like oranges and browns and she pegged it! Just look at the yummy dark brown linen (I love linen!) she used in this gorgeous fall table runner.


My wonderful and amazing fiance and I are hosting Thanksgiving at our house with both sets of parents for the first time this year and this runner is going to look amazing on our Thanksgiving table. I already have the dish towel hanging in my kitchen and I took the mug rug to work with me and it's brightening up my desk. She pegged me with the circles for sure!


Thank you Darci! I love everything!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Scrappy Pincushion Swap Sent!


My pinnies have been sent off to my partner in the Scrappy Pincushion Swap and since she lives practically around the corner from me they've already arrived at their new home. While I was stalking my partner I saw a snail trail pattern in her favorites and I took that idea and ran with it. I had the idea to make a cube shaped pincushion with each side of the cube using the snail trail pattern. I also had a Bliss charm pack that I won in a giveaway a while back that just seemed to be calling out for this project. I created my first panel without a pattern and it turned out well until the last round, which I ended up having to rip out and start over. The second panel I happened to track down a pattern small enough for my pincushion, but I had a different set of troubles and I ended up abandoning the pattern for the four remaining panels. I am a bit of a perfectionist, especially when I am creating something for someone else, so I am not 100% satisfied with the completed pinnie. I think some of the angles could be a little crisper but my partner seems pleased with the outcome. And hey, it was the first pin cushion I have ever made.


Since I wasn't completely satisfied with the snail trail cube (and also because I wanted to) I decided to create a second pin cushion for her. This time I went a little whimsical and designed an octopus pinnie. I even added little beaded and sequined "suckers" to his legs. The trouble I ran into on this one was adding the bottom panel. I ended up attaching and re-attaching it probably three times before I was happy with the outcome. His eight little legs made it challenging. But I think he is just so cute and I might have to make another one for myself. I had intended to add a wrist strap to him but ran out of time (sorry partner!). And the pins I made using long quilting needles, some glass beads and a hot glue gun.


This swap was so much fun! And it was challenging in many ways. I so hope my partner is pleased with the outcome. I loved making these for you Michelle! Enjoy! (And I can't wait to see what is coming my way. It has me checking the mail everyday!)

Did you finish something this week, too? Then hop on over to Sew and Tell and share it too!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

IBOL Posted

Building my IBOL

Last week was crazy, let me tell you. And this week is looking like it's going to be insane too. My updates from the past week will be coming, but slowly, until I can get caught up on everything. On Thursday I had to rush to get two packages in the mail before an October 1st deadline, since I was going out of town early Friday morning. But I was able to meet both deadlines, just barely. Thankfully I was able to get my IBOL package out before the October 1st postmark and now my little gift is on it's way to help those less fortunate than I, in Iraq. If you didn't get a chance to participate this round, keep your eyes open next year. It's a really easy way to help those in need.

IBOL Ready to Go!

My package wasn't pretty, because I had to put it together rather hastily Thursday morning, but it was filled to the brim with buttons, snaps, new scissors, zippers, thread, yarn and several yards of fabric. It may be too late to create your own Bundle of Love, but it's never too late to find out more about this amazing organization.