Monday, December 31, 2012

Hundred Day Hustle Wrap Up and Year-End Review

Like many of you, I found Kelsey's Hundred Day Hustle a great inspiration. I had pretty low expectations about my ability to finish things, but in the end, I think I did reasonably well! Here's a look back at my list:
  1. Red and white quilt for Grandma-- Finished and given to my mom! She loved it.
  2. Gray and yellow wedding quilt-- Finished and set to be delivered today!
  3. Charming Stars wedding quilt-- No progress. Will be a January/February project!
  4. Nebraska wall hangings-- No progress. But after tomorrow, football season will be over until next fall, so I've got plenty of time. ;)
  5. Coasters for L-- No progress.
  6. Placemats for other Grandma-- Well... in progress. There was a setback. :)
  7. Table runner for Mom-- Finished!
  8. Christmas pillow for my SIL-- I changed this to a holiday quilt, because I am crazy. The top is almost done, and I'm going to try to finish it before I go visit them next week.
  9. Purse for my BFF-- No progress.
  10. My hourglass quilt-- Yeah, this will be a 2013 project. :)
  11. A Christmas quilt-- The squares are cut, because I split the layer cake with my SIL's quilt mentioned above. But like the football wall hangings, now I've got a lot of time on this one. :)
Ok, so not that many finishes. But the world is an imperfect place. :)

Since this is my first year of quilting, all of my projects are in this collage! I'm very happy with what I managed to learn and accomplish this year, and am very excited for the quilts I will make this year!

Have a Happy New Year!

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Friday, December 28, 2012

Two Finishes, a Minor Disaster, and the Curse of the Reindeer Cat

If that title didn't draw you in, I don't know what will. :)

I spent the few days before Christmas in a flurry of sewing activity and was able to finish two gifts for my mother. Since my mom bought me a beautiful machine this year (see Tobias' debut here), I felt it only right that she get the first fruits of my sewing efforts.

So I made her this table runner:

This project is also significant to me because it is the first time I have EVER tried FMQ on an actual project. It is actually pretty fun, as I'm sure most of you already know. :) Some of it turned out quite pretty:

And some did not:

But that's ok. It's a busy enough quilt design that the quilting doesn't show up much anyway. The fabric I used is a "Christmas Spirit" charm pack by Holly Taylor, which isn't really my taste, but it is definitely my mom's. The pattern is from Keepsake Quilting and can be found here.

My second finish is in some ways my first quilt! Several of these red and white blocks were made during the beginning quilting class I took almost a year ago (love that 9-patch, eh?) This was the quilt I referenced last month as being intended for my grandmother. Events happened, and my mother ended up being the recipient instead.

I finished this quilt quickly. I'm back at my mom's place for Christmas break, so it was tough to sew with her around (she's a teacher, so she wasn't at work either!) She went to a wedding last Saturday night, and I finished the top, basted it, and quilted the sashing. Sunday morning, I got up and didn't even shower or get dressed, and finished the quilting on all of the blocks. I bound it, trimmed threads, and tossed it in the wash (with several color catchers, as you might imagine with this color scheme) five minutes before she arrived home. I think she was very happy to unwrap that on Christmas Eve!

Cat nap approved.

But as we know, the course of sewing does not always run smooth, and I also botched some placemats I was making for my grandmother. I was binding them on Christmas Eve, hours before we were due at her house, so I suppose it served me right for my procrastination (I've had that fabric since July.) The binding on the one I got done was not a thing of beauty, and then this happened. Sigh. So Grandma got one placemat and an IOU for the rest.

Also, I did this to my cat. Rest assured, I do not normally dress my cat up, I'm not that crazy. But my brother and sister-in-law got this outfit in the $1 section of Target a couple of years ago for my mom's cat as a joke, and I decided my cat needed to try it on. His opinion differed.

Christmas Spirit, by Bingley
Linking up with Crazy Mom Quilts!

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Thursday, December 20, 2012

A Trip, A Blizzard, and A (Finally) Finish!

It's been a crazy month (ok yes, can anyone's December be described any differently?) As I mentioned recently, I was planning to move from New York to Nebraska later this week. Two weeks ago, I pitched that plan out the window! Long story short, my advisor's TA couldn't work at the last minute, and he offered the post to me for this spring. It's a great gig--no sections to teach, so basically just some grading and two classes a week, which should leave me a fair amount of time to do my own work. This means I know where my funding is coming from through May 2014 instead of just December 2013, which, as a fifth year grad student, is kind of a big deal. My first response to considering not moving was not a positive one, but as I thought about it, I realized it was very do-able. The only money I had invested was a one-way ticket for my uncle to come help me move, and my landlord extended my lease with no extra fees, which was great! I'm not very good at making major decisions, especially quickly, but this all happened within 18 hours, and I feel at peace with it.

Of course, with other recent unsettling events, it hasn't been a totally peaceful period. I was calculating final grades the day that the horrible shooting at Sandy Hook took place, and just kept watching as the news got worse and worse. I hope that this tragedy, horrific as it was, will spur some beneficial changes in the many areas of society that desperately need it. But more importantly, I pray that the families and community there are allowed to heal and that they will be well supported by friends and family in the difficult months and years ahead.

After a fun evening on Sunday decorating cookies with a few fellow grad students and watching "Love Actually," I headed back to Nebraska via a two-day drive with my cat as my (worthless, it must be said) co-pilot. It is such a long trip, and even though it's one we've made many times, I am always so relieved when I cross the Missouri River into Nebraska! It's equal parts great to be home, and to be out of the car. :) We got home a day before a massive blizzard came through. My mom and I made chili soup, drank wine, and I got her started on an addiction to Downton Abbey last night as the wind blew like crazy outside. There are probably not any better ways to ride out a blizzard!

Don't mind the crazy purple bunny on the left.

But my biggest news is that I finally finished a quilt! :) I know, miraculous. After deciding not to move, I found myself with a much more reasonable amount of free time, so I finally knocked out the gray and yellow quilt for my friend! I adore the binding I finally chose, and think it looks great! I took it outside this morning for some snowy photo goodness, and now I'll shut up and let you enjoy the photos. :)

The back is made from an Ikea duvet cover. It seemed just a shade short the long way, so I threw in a strip of blocks echoing the front. Something I need to learn to do is to line up a pieced back with the front, because as you can see from the quilting, it isn't quite square. Oh well. I still like the overall effect.

I considered outlining the dark gray squares in the same way, but I was sort of out of time and motivation after I got it bound, and I thought it would be tough to manage to not stitch on the binding if I went back and quilted post-binding. It would have looked nice though!

I really lucked out with my binding! I had saved some yellow from the beginning of the project and intended it for my binding, but when it came time for that step, I just wasn't feeling it. I wasn't happy with what I saw at the LQS, and then as I was just about to settle for something, I found this! And it is perfect. And I am a little obsessed over it.

So, the wedding quilt is finally finished, just in time for their five-month anniversary. :) I just know my friend is going to love it!

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Monday, December 3, 2012

Ithaca Modern Quilt Guild

Hey guys! No, I haven't been eaten by a bear, fallen off a cliff, or otherwise disappeared from the face of the earth. Just busy trying to wrap up the semester (classes finished last week, yay! but now the grading...oh, the grading) and plan a move halfway across the country before Christmas. So things will probably be a little sparse here until I get settled in in January, but that's life! I try to pop on and check out what you guys are up to every once in awhile, but I'm also trying to limit my time on the computer so that I face down the pages-long to-do list I've got. :)

Yesterday I went to my first Modern Quilt Guild meeting! Pat, from Color Me Quilty, has been working hard on this for several months, and yesterday was their second meeting. I was pretty bummed I have to leave something that fun when it is just started, but I still think it's a pretty cool undertaking. Ithaca is a highly artistic community and is home to a lovely and successful quilt shop, and I think it's something that will do very well!

I'm sewing the binding on my gray and yellow quilt that has been my only ongoing project for ages. Then, I see that this fabric line is coming out!

Well, that certainly would have made things easier. Oh well! I guess my friend M was just a little too ahead of the curve in picking gray and yellow as wedding colors last summer. :)

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Saturday, November 10, 2012

Hustling Like a Slug

To be honest, this is about how I thought Kelsey's 100 Day Hustle would go for me. I have completed nothing on my list. :) In October, I had guests for 10 days total out of the first 14 days of the month, then I went back to Nebraska for five days, madly tried to get a bunch of paperwork in order for the graduate school (ever tried tracking down three profs in two days? It's really, really hard.), and drove to Michigan and back over a weekend. I got back from Michigan on Sunday night and was looking forward to settling in for awhile (as much as I can settle in at the end of a semester with a move halfway across the country looming), but my mom called me this morning and told me that my grandma passed away this morning. It was expected and I am glad she's not in pain anymore (eff you, bone cancer) but it looks like I am off on another (emotional) journey to Nebraska this week.

So yeah, not a lot of (quilty) hustling happening. But that's life. :)

Gray and yellow wedding quilt being quilted.
  1. Red and white quilt for Grandma-- Didn't get this done in time. :( I think I'm still going to try to finish it and give it to my mom for Christmas. Is that tacky? She didn't know I was working on it for someone else, and I think she'd really like it.
  2. Gray and yellow wedding quilt-- Basted, quilting in progress! This is really the only thing I've worked on in any measurable amount.
  3. Charming Stars wedding quilt-- No progress.
  4. Nebraska wall hangings-- No progress.
  5. Coasters for L-- No progress.
  6. Placemats for other Grandma-- No progress.
  7. Table runner for Mom-- Ordered Holly Taylor's Christmas Spirit charm pack this week, and got the pattern for the table runner last week, so maybe I can get started on this soon.
  8. Christmas pillow for my SIL-- No progress.
  9. Purse for my BFF-- No progress.
  10. My hourglass quilt-- Yeah, this will be a 2013 project. :)
  11. A Christmas quilt-- I did get the fabric for this, but not sure it will get sewn up for this Christmas.
A little bit demoralizing! But not finishing stuff like this doesn't bother me too much, because at the end of the day, this is a hobby for me. I'm sure my advisor, among others, would like if I were a little more deadline-oriented in other areas of my life, but for this, I think you have to know what is important and what is not!

Here's hoping life settles down slightly in the coming weeks! 

Kelsey Sews

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Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Blogger's Quilt Festival

I was hoping to have my gray and yellow quilt finished for the Blogger's Quilt Festival--as you can see that did not happen! But I was having a lot of fun looking at everyone else's quilts, so I decided to go back in the archives and pull out... the first quilt I made! It's not perfect, but it is still my favorite (so far).

I made this quilt for my best friend when she had her baby this past March. The colors are her choice and match the nursery. She didn't know I was making her a quilt, and she was so excited! Judging by the frequency with which it shows up in pictures of the baby, I think it was a hit.

The back is flannel, as I remember my own quilt from childhood having a flannel back and loving my "fuzzy quilt." I hope that little E (and her mama!) will enjoy her quilt for many years!

All Framed Up Baby Quilt
40" x 40"(ish)
Made: March 2012
No special techniques used
Pattern: "All Framed Up" by Melissa Corry
Quilted by me!
Best category: baby quilt, scrap quilt

Thanks for stopping by! I'm looking forward to working my way through many of the other quilts in the festival!

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Saturday, October 27, 2012

MY Baby Quilt!

A crazily busy month has meant that I've done very little sewing, and I'm currently back in Nebraska to visit my grandparents and mom, and particularly my grandma who isn't doing so well. I am really grateful to have made it back to see her for possibly the last time, even though it is difficult to see her like this.

But while I'm back at my mother's, I spied my very first quilt at the bottom of the bed and decided it deserved a little post of its own!

I had a few more pics, but for some reason, Blogger keeps uploading them with the additions of large neon stripes. This one miraculously emerged unscathed on the fourth try.

My aunt made this for me when I was born, and I slept under it for pretty much every childhood nap that I can remember. The back is bright pink flannel, and I always loved that it was "fuzzy." The fabrics are very 1980s (which makes sense, I suppose!), but the pattern is timeless and I have always loved it. It is so well loved and well washed that it feels like butter (in a soft way, not a greasy way!) I never once noticed (before becoming a quilter) that some of the seams don't match quite right and that there really is very minimal quilting (she outlined a few of the "around the worlds.") There's a good lesson in there--our recipients really don't mind or even notice the imperfections, they just love that they had a quilt made for them. I think that's true even if the recipient isn't a child. It's a good reminder to just enjoy the process of making and the act of giving (to others or to yourself!) and to realize how immaterial the small imperfections are.

Hope you are all having a lovely week! I'm hoping to maybe finish up my yellow and gray quilt in time to enter it into the Bloggers Quilt Festival, but class and Hurricane Sandy may conspire against me! Then again, if I can get it quilted and the binding on, there are worse ways to ride out a hurricane power outage than by finishing the hand binding of a quilt. :) Outdoor photographs may be out of the question though!

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Saturday, October 20, 2012

Basting in the Basement

I finally got around to basting my gray and yellow quilt! I don't have any hard surfaces in my apartment except my tiny kitchen and tiny bathroom, so I decided to take my quilt here:

The basement of my building, where my office is also located! I felt a little silly carrying a Swiffer and all of my various supplies across the Arts Quad, but hey, it worked. It was so much easier than trying to do it on carpet! A few of my fellow grad students wandered by and were very interested in what on earth I was doing crouched in front of the pop machine. :)

Hope everyone is enjoying their weekend!

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Thursday, October 18, 2012

WIP: Embarking on Embroidery

It's been a crazy month-- my boyfriend arrived for a five day visit on my day on the blog hop, then he left, then three days after that, my brother and sister-in-law arrived for their own five day visit! Mix in trying to stay on top of my teaching and writing in with that, and well, very little sewing has occurred. Plus, I had to clean my sewing mess off of my dining table. :) In spite of that, it was fantastic to have all of the visitors, and I had a wonderful, if exhausting, two weeks.

However, I did venture into embroidery for the very first time! I found an amazing beginner series at Wild Olive and went to town. Seriously, it's a great series for the beginner-- it answered every one of my questions, with easy-to-follow instructions and lots of pictures. If you're new to embroidery like I am, you should definitely check it out!

But I bet you want to see what I made, right?

I made a label for my gray and yellow wedding quilt that is still languishing in WIPland! It took far less time than I thought it would. I might not do it for every quilt, but it's a nice option for particularly special quilts, I think.

Also, does anyone else weirdly enjoy French knots? I think they're really fun to make, but it's possible I'm just strange.

I've seen a lot of beautiful photos from Utah since everyone is posting stuff from Sewing Summit, but I'd like to give a shout out to  central New York's fall, because it's totally killin' it this year.

Sometimes it blows my mind that this is in a town where I live.

Oh! I also started a rock climbing class through the university last weekend. It's all women (by design), which is pretty cool, and it's so much harder than I imagined it would be! The wall is made of natural rock, so it's substantially more slippery than most indoor climbing walls. When it came time to belay from the top, I remembered that I find heights terrifying, and I had to close my eyes in order to get myself to step off of the top off the wall (I can't explain why that was somehow less scary to me!) Yet as you can see, I survived, and I have five more weeks of a grueling 3.5 hour class! Hopefully that survival rate continues. ;)

Linking up with Freshly Pieced's WIP Wednesday!

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Thursday, October 4, 2012

Well then, let's do it! Let's Get Acquainted!

"I've been waiting for this moment, all my life."

Plum and June

Apologies to Phil Collins. And, it's not strictly speaking true, either. But ever since I serendipitously stumbled upon Beth's blog hop when I started blogging in May, I've been really looking forward to my day on the hop! It's been so fun to read everyone else's "Getting to Know You" tidbits (I am so nosy) and to discover a lot of other wonderful bloggers! Many thanks to Beth for getting the party started. Be sure to check out Patricia's blog today, and Martha's and Melissa's from earlier this week.

My name is Catherine (I show up as "Books_Bound" in your comment sections, so see, you've already hit some big paydirt by reading this) and I am a PhD student at Cornell University. I was born and raised in Nebraska, and I still consider it my "real" home. I grew up sewing (unwillingly--my mother is a Home Economics teacher and forced me to sew yearly projects for 4-H. "Forced" is exactly the right word, too) but didn't start quilting until this past January. I had created a list of "27 Things to do while 27" and one of them was "try quilting." So I did--I took an introductory class a a wonderful local store, and here I am! It's a wonderful diversion from school.

My projects thus far! I'm not prolific, but I hey, it's about the process, right?

I tend to love all of the projects I've done (vanity?), but so far, I've only kept a bag and a half-finished mini! I'm going to make a quilt for myself one of these days, I promise. I just think it's so fun to give stuff away, particularly if you've made it just for that person and according to their likes and personality. It might be my favorite part of quilting. My least favorite part is the cost. Boo. :(

"I'll take 'Potpourri' for $200, Alex"

Well, ok then.

Favorite game show: Surprise! It's Jeopardy. I even got to go to an audition last month! It was very fun, but I'm pretty sure I didn't make the cut. This year. Now that I've gone once, I'm bound and determined to get on there someday.

Life ambition: Marry well and buy all the fabric I want. And clothes. Wow, I love clothes.

Backup Plan: Teach college.

Backup Plan C: Be an extremely educated Starbucks barista.

Favorite sewing tip: Respect the rotary cutter.

What I'm doing in two weeks: Taking a rock climbing course.

Favorite sport to watch: College football (Go Nebraska Cornhuskers!) I love it. I like tennis too, but only if they aren't grunters. Which most are, so I like tennis on mute.

Coolest place I've been: China (2006) or Argentina (2004). I love traveling. I have an ideal schedule for it. But I have no money. Life is cruel.

Craziest thing I've learned since blogging: That Brits call throw pillows "cushions." It took me awhile to figure that one out.

Favorite thing about blogging: Honestly? I love looking at the stats page where it says from which country people are viewing your blog. Since I can't travel, I find it awesome that my blog is at least getting some play in Iceland, India, Japan, etc.

Most overused punctuation: Exclamation points. It's a sickness. I'm working on it.

That's probably enough, right? If you need more, check out my "About Me" section or my "Completed Projects" section! Thanks a lot for stopping by, and be sure to check out my very first tutorial for my Matt and Kim pillow!

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Matt and Kim Pillow

This is the Matt and Kim pillow! Probably the easiest pillow on the planet, but hey, it's cute, right?

Why Matt and Kim? They sing this fun song called "Block after Block" which I always think about when sewing. It's such a peppy song, it always makes me happy. So here's a happy pillow named after a happy song.

You will need:
--1 20" pillow form
--3/4 yard background fabric (that's the cream color in this one)
--22" by 22" square of muslin
--22" by 22" square of batting
--3/4 yard pillow back fabric
--32 2 1/2" squares of fabric (mini charm packs would work great!) You might also want to have two 2 1/2" x 1" scraps for the end of the middle row. They'll barely show.



Sew together two rows of eleven squares. Sew together one row of ten squares and add the small scraps to each end of that row. Use a 1/4" seam allowance, and press open.

After your rows are sewn together, arrange them like this, with the eleven-square rows on the top and bottom. 

Stagger the squares so that the seams of the middle row line up with the middle of the blocks above and below them.

Stitch the rows together. You should now have a pretty ribbon 6.5" wide and a little over 21" long.

Cut the background fabric into two pieces that are each 8" x 21." Sew one rectangle to the top of your rows with a 1/4" seam, and the other rectangle to the bottom row.

Trim your patchwork piece to 21" square. (Note: this will result in a 20.5" finished pillow cover, so there is a little bit of room in the pillow case. If you want it more snug, trim to 20.5", but I'm just nervous about stuff like that.)

Baste your patchwork with the batting and the muslin on the back. Quilt as desired.

Out of the pillow backing fabric, cut two rectangles, each 21" x 26". Fold them in half so that they measure 21" x 13". Sew 1/8" along the folded edge. 

Place your quilt sandwich face up on a flat surface. Take one rectangle of backing fabric and align the three unfinished edges with the edges of the quilt sandwich. (The folded, stitched edge should run parallel to the pretty squares section.) Repeat with the other rectangle on the other half of the pillow. (Note: if your backing fabric is directional, pay attention to that now.)

Pin the edges of the backing to the sandwich, and stitch 1/4" all the way around.

Turn the case inside out, sharpen the corners with a corner turner or a chopstick, and press the edges to make them crisp.

Ta-da! A happy, pretty pillow to make you happy.

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Wednesday, September 26, 2012

WIP: Gray and Yellow, Revisited

I finally finished this quilt top! I don't know why it took me so long to sew those last four rows, because as you can tell, this is not a high-skill assembly and it only took an evening to finish the last rows and sew the whole top together.

Oh well. It happens to the best of us, right?

Please pardon my photography. I wasn't able to take a photo in daylight, but I wanted to share it for WIP Wednesday anyway, as it's rather rare I have something substantial to show. I put some filters and crap on it to try camouflage the fact that I live in a cave, but to no avail. We'll all survive this assault of bad photography though, I hope. :)

Also: I would like to look into embroidering my quilt labels rather than using marker. I've never done much embroidery, so it's all a bit new to me. Anyone have any good beginner resources, or at least a hint of what kind of stitch would be good for someone to learn who wanted to "write" words? Thanks in advance!

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Sunday, September 23, 2012

100 Day Hustle

I was so excited to see Kelsey's great idea to do a list party to spur one another on in our various projects through the end of the year! My list already existed in a Word document (along with a daily To Do list, and a dissertation To Do list, and a self improvement To Do list... what can I say, I like lists) so why not share it and get a little accountability, right?

Kelsey Sews

In rough order of priority:
  1. Red and white quilt for Grandma-- You haven't seen much of this one, and it started as sampler blocks in my first quilting class. Circumstances have compelled me to try and finish it.
  2. Gray and yellow wedding quilt-- Remember the friend who got married way back in July? I'm still working on her quilt. :) I finished the top this weekend though, so hooray!
  3. Charming Stars wedding quilt-- This one is for the friend who got married earlier this month. Someday, it would be cool to give someone a quilt at their actual wedding, but I'm not holding my breath. :)
  4. Nebraska wall hangings-- Trying to make one for my mother and for me. Conference play starts this week, so I should finish these sooner rather than later!
  5. Coasters for L-- I want to make a set of coasters out of the leftover Cool Britannia fabric I used for her purse. She just moved across the country to start a new job, so I want to send her something, because readjustment stinks.
  6. Placemats for other Grandma-- I'm excited about these. My grandma is only Swedish through marriage, but she can out-Swede many a Swede. When I saw Michael Miller's Wooden Horses fabric, I knew what I needed to do for a Christmas present.
  7. Table runner for Mom-- I'd like to make my mom a quilt someday, but that's just not realistic for this year. But I think I can maybe get her a Christmas table runner done. I'd like to use Holly Taylor's Christmas Spirit line. Not really my taste, but it is my mother's exactly!
  8. Christmas pillow for my SIL-- I love Joy, and think it would make a fun pillow. Just haven't decided what, exactly, that should look like yet! But Christmas is coming soon... yikes!
  9. Purse for my BFF-- I haven't started it yet, but saw some fabric that made me think of her and decided to make her a bag like these two.
  10. My hourglass quilt-- I have some Vintage Modern waiting patiently for me to finally make a quilt for myself! (I haven't kept one yet!) I'd really like to do an hourglass one like this.
  11. A Christmas quilt-- I really want to use Joy in a Christmas quilt. Realistically, all that will probably happen on this one for 2012 is to buy the fabric. :)

Just a few things on the list! I've got visitors for the first two weekends in October, then I'll be out of town the last weekend of October, the first weekend of November, and probably over Thanksgiving. I'm also considering moving at the end of December. And teaching a class and writing a dissertation in there too. So how much sewing will get done? We will see. :) Thanks for the motivation, Kelsey!

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Monday, September 17, 2012

Paper Piecing? Moi?

This post is dedicated to Kristy, whose always-inspirational and always super cute paper pieced blocks made me think that it was something I might actually want to try some day. :)

I've been really afraid of paper piecing. It just looks complicated, you know? Stuff is backwards, upside down, inside out, and who knows what else. I'm not the most spatially aware person on the planet, so it seemed rather daunting to me. But the time to try it had finally come. I sensed that the time had arrived when Quilt Story featured a paper piecing tutorial using one of the prettiest blocks around. I had been kicking around an idea for a paper pieced mini in my head for some time, the only thing that remained was, well, learning to paper piece.

So I did.

Yup, that's it. I haven't even finished that block (I'm going to though, I promise.) I figured that was enough practice. An eighth of a block. I'm pretty much a pro now.

So I decided to make my own pattern, because why not? Oh, and I wanted to make a letter--a letter in which direction mattered (this is the logo for my alma mater and its associated sports teams, of which I am a fan.) If I was honest about how long I spent thinking about which way the pattern should face for the final block "N" to turn out correctly... well, I'd be embarrassed, and you'd be underwhelmed with my intellect. :)

The "N" stands for "'Nowledge"!

I couldn't really figure out how people knew what order things should be sewn in, though I knew it would be easier if I made sure that I wasn't running into situations where I needed multiple seams on a single piece of fabric. So I guessed and chopped it into five pieces because that was the only way I could think to make it work. And I forged ahead.

At this point, I was still pretty skeptical that this was going to resemble anything in a Latin-derived alphabet.

But yet again, I forged on, and before I knew it, it had come together pretty darn well! I was so proud of myself and sent numerous texts to my boyfriend detailing my incredible rise to genius and demanding validation of my brilliance. (Maybe the "N" stands for "needy.")

 I'm pretty excited about my new skill. I haven't fallen in love with it like many people have (at least not yet), but I do like that I'm not afraid to try it now. I'd really like to make another one of these for my mom and send it to her as a surprise. I'm planning to quilt it up and make it into a little door or wall hanging.

In a non-related note, a roving horde of seventeen wild turkeys rambled through my backyard last week. Seventeen! Doesn't that seem like a lot? I've never lived anywhere where turkeys are uncommon, and I don't think I've ever seen more than three or four at a time. I am suspicious of their motives, but I let my cat out to investigate, and his response was to try to eat one of my mums, so he must not have felt too threatened.

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