Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Quilt Bug

So, I think I have the quilting bug. After an excellent sewing session with Christine on Sunday, I got half of the strips for my Quilt-a-long sewn together. It was so much fun and a lot easier than I remember the last two quilts being - possibly because my sewing skills have improved a great deal since then. If you've read my previous post about my project list (also now shown on the sidebar to the left), I've already put two more quilts on it! I got awesome fabric from my fellow teachers at work that I'd like to turn into a quilt and then I also bought some fabric to make something for the baby that I think needs to be a crib quilt.

Here is where I run into a dilemma. I am a novice quilter, so I don't have a huge idea of how to plan this out. Since I already have the fabric, I am somewhat limited there. I think the sock monkey quilt will be fine (I mean any kind of quilt made with really cute sock monkey fabric is going to be really cute by default), but its the other fabric that concerns me. I have considered doing an Irish Chain (mostly because I've done it before - see photo at top - and I have the instructions!) but I'm not sure that would work for my fabric selection. I have another book that has a few patterns in it that I like - namely the Basket-Weave pattern and the Five-Strip Fence Rail pattern. I think either of them would work for my fabric selection.

Here are scanned in photos from my book - yes, its vintage. :)

Basket-Weave Pattern (this is shown in a crib-size)

Five-Strip Fence Rail Pattern (this is shown in a queen/full size, but I would make it smaller)

So I think my next step will be to settle on a pattern, then look at how much fabric I have versus how much I will need. I think I like the fence rail pattern for the fabrics I have, but the instructions call for like 20 different fabrics and I only have 5. I wonder how it would look if I just used the 5 I have? I should probably do this soon since I may have to supplement what I have and I want to make sure the awesome Asheville Cotton Co. still has it in stock!!

Wow, thanks for helping me hash that out, blog!

Updates to come....

Saturday, June 19, 2010

versatile blogger!

My friend, Jaime, gave me the "Versatile Blogger" award this week. I was (am) very flattered mostly because I think my blog is mainly me talking about why I'm so behind on my projects...
Maybe the versatility comes in other ways. :)

The rules upon receiving this award are simple. Thank the person who gave you the award, tell seven things about yourself and pass the award along to some bloggers you love. So.....

Thanks, Jaime! I really enjoy reading your blogs (all of them!) as well as having the pleasure to know you in real-life! For those of you who don't know, Jaime and I have been known to do some sewing together.... :)

Seven things about myself... here goes...

1. I am about to become a first-time mommy. I am so incredibly excited about it and simultaneously scared out of my mind. Its a good scared, though. I can't wait for the amazing challenge of parenthood!

2. One of the reasons I'm excited about being a parent is that I deal with approximately 750 elementary school students on a weekly basis in my job as a music teacher. Its the most amazing thing for someone to pay me money to have so much fun every day. I really love my job, even with the stress and frustration that comes with it. When you get a big hug from a child who tells you that they love coming to music class, its all worth it!

3. I have been posting a lot about sewing lately, but my first love is crochet. I miss it and I need to get myself back in some projects! I think I have been doing more sewing lately because you can finish a project so much faster. Who doesn't like instant (or at least faster) gratification? I have envisioned some projects for the baby (toys, blankets, hats) that need to come into reality. Its on my list...

4. I really like cleaning my bathroom. There is not much that is more satisfying to me than a freshly cleaned bathroom. Pretty much every other bathroom in the world grosses me out except for mine.

5. I drive a big pick-up truck and I love it. It doesn't get great gas mileage, but it can drive up a tree if I put in 4-wheel drive. I hope I never have to drive a car ever again. I. love. my. truck.

6. I sometimes let my imagination get the best of me. Its why I get freaked out when I'm home alone at night and why I can't swim anywhere I can't see the bottom - or swim at all really, since pools are gross.

7. Sometimes I really like to listen to rap music. Ludacris and Snoop Dogg are my favs and, yes, I can sing all the words. I don't only listen to rap though, I also am obsessed with Josh Ritter and I adore Chet Baker, Pearl Jam, Hank Williams, Sr. and Harry Connick, Jr. (and many, many other artists) but I thought the rap aspect of my musical tastes might surprise some people.... :)

Okay, so I hope that was interesting for at least one of you and that you learned something about me that you didn't already know. :)

I would like to send this Versatile Blogger award to:
Carmen @ seachell
Alice @ futuregirl
Michelle @ Dreams of Sewing Machines
Amy @ Amy Lives Her Life (I miss your bloggies - come back to us!!)
Michelle @ Coordinated Chaos

Friday, June 18, 2010

Holy stacks of fabric!

As I surveyed the war-zone-like area that I sew/craft in (formerly known as the dining room table), I realized there were projects in these piles that I have been wanting to make for months now. And this is minor compared to the piles in the "staging area" (a.k.a. back-room-of-crap). So I'm going to do it. I'm making a list of my projects. I'm publishing it on my blog. Then its public and I'll have to get them done. So here is my list:

Wedding present projects for J's and D's
Quilt-a-long with Carmen
mend cute maternity dress (before I don't need it anymore!!)
Mei Tai Baby Carrier
make liner for finished Starling Handbag
Sock Monkey (quilt?)
Craft Hope project
Irish Chain baby quilt
Burp cloths & receiving blankets
finish my set of Classic Tote shopping bags (4 more to go)
Crochet SOMETHING because I miss it A LOT
Diaper bag - haven't decided which one
Hanging book display - how cool is this??

This is so helpful! I have more to add, but I just can't right now... whew!

I will try to keep it updated and hopefully this will keep me on track. I am working on the wedding presents (which are late, of course) tonight. Here goes....

*update 6/20* Okay, okay I added a few items to my project list shown on the side bar of my blog. I hope it means I will actually get to them!!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Quilt-A-Long: Week 2

I am really excited about the quilt-a-long I'm doing with my bloggy friends Carmen and Mia and my local friend Christine. We are on week 2: cutting the fabric. Christine came over today and we were the cutting queens! Two quilts cut out and ready to sew together! Yay!

Here is Christine's before pile:

And after:

Here is my before pile:

And after:

I'm excited to start piecing in together soon! The tutorial calls for a random selection, but since I only chose 5 fabrics instead of 10 (I strayed from the instructions) I am going to plan it out. I know, straying from the instructions again, but I think it will work better this way. Plus I like planning! :)

And, just as promised, here is the gift I made for the baby shower. It's a girl! I was so excited to get to make something super girly! There are two of each bib, so its a set of 6.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Crazy like a fox

So, my last post was titled "Bib Crazy" and I felt bib crazy at the time, but not as crazy as I did yesterday! I've had those 12 bibs pinned together and ready to sew since my last post (so, like 3 weeks....) and I didn't get to them until yesterday... and I got to them alright. The snaps went much better this time. I only had to pry one out and re-do it. I'm not totally sold on snaps, but they'll work for the bibs. Now I have a total of 15 handmade bibs for my sweet little one. There are 2 of each, except for the polka dot one on the left (that's the one Jaime made - Thanks, Jaime!).

Now, I haven't been lazy since my last post.

First of all, its the end of the year at school, so of course craziness ensues there. Yay for summer!

Secondly, my nesting instinct has kicked in full-force and my house looks like a tornado hit it. Must prepare for baby. Must re-organize house. Must move furniture. Must throw/give away. No pics of that, its too scary. Its like a sickness, but a really good one. I think my husband is going to lose it if I don't stop, but I might lose it if I don't. I think I'm gonna win that one. :) In my tornado I made a huge pile to take to goodwill and then this pile to cut up and fix for the CraftHope project helping out in the gulf coast.

Lastly, I have actually done some crafty-productive things. I am doing a quilt-a-long with Carmen, Mia and my non-bloggy friend Christine. I have completed week 1: to select and prepare my fabric. The tutorial calls for 10 different fabrics, but when I went to the awesome Asheville Cotton (my favorite fabric shop in town!!) I couldn't settle on that many. There are so many good choices!! Maybe I just wasn't focused enough. Either way, I decided to use only 5 different fabrics, but to double up on them. The paisley is my "neutral" fabric as well as what I will use on the back. I think it will work out fine. What I'm hoping is that it will make the quilt seem more cohesive and not more boring. We'll see.... Next up, week 2: cut, cut, cut. Hooray for rotary cutters! This will be the first quilt I've made in years, so I'm really excited!!

I have also been working on two wedding presents and a baby shower present for some friends. Finished pics to come of those when I deliver the presents. Until then, here's a sneak peek...

Also, my awesome co-workers threw me a baby shower last week and in addition to all of the excellent baby supplies I got, I got a huge crafty score as well! Many of the other teachers at my school are crafty as well, scrapbooking, card-making, crocheting, beading, knitting, collaging - you name it and someone does it. So they gave me a sock monkey themed shower (oh how I love sock monkeys!!) and they decorated with this great sock monkey fabric that I got to take home! Hooray! I've washed it, folded it and it is staring me down, begging to be created into something. Any suggestions? Maybe a sock monkey quilt?