Wednesday, January 30, 2013

WIP Wednesday: New Project

What's this? A new project? I didn't take the vow of finishing old stuff that the rest of the quilt blog universe did, so I feel totally unrepentant about this. :) I started sewing this together while streaming the "Tupperware" American Experience documentary from PBS after I was on a documentary high from the great "Henry Ford" feature they aired last night. I loooove American Experience so much. You go, PBS. Did you know that you can see many of their documentaries for free in their commercial-free entirety on their website? You can. Give them a look!

I am super excited for this quilt, because it's the first one I'm making to keep for myself. This makes me extremely happy! Sneak peak, my inspiration is this one by Rita. Pretty traditional, but I'm going to love it. I'm using Ruby and Vintage Modern for it, so it's going to be one girly quilt. But that's ok. Because it's mine! :)

Linked with Freshly Pieced.

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Sunday, January 27, 2013

BOM Blocks--First Two Down!

I finished my first two Skill Builder BOM blocks this weekend! I like "Sound Wave" better, but boy was it fussy! I don't really see myself making another one of those. I am a lazy quilter. :)

"Magnum" block

"Sound Wave" block

There are a couple of scraps in the Sound Wave block, but they're pretty quiet prints, so they don't really show up in this photo. I do have some red fabric pulled for this quilt, but it just wasn't right in either of these blocks. Maybe next month! I've started thinking of this as my "Santorini" quilt, in keeping with the source of my inspiration for the colors.

Also, it's cold here.

Hope your weekend was grand! Linking up with the "Let's Get Acquainted" linky at Plum and June.

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Friday, January 25, 2013

Support Your Local Quilt Store!

I am lucky to live in a town with a GREAT local quilt shop--Quilters Corner. They run a lot of commercials on HGTV, and that's how I first heard about them after living here for three and a half years. :) Apparently, when I first lived here, they were located in a strip mall across the parking lot from my complex. Good thing I wasn't quilting then!

They've since moved downtown (you can tell this isn't a current picture, given all of the green leaves! It's gray and snowy here now) and have a spacious store with many "departments" and classroom space. It's very nice!

Lots of stash-builders and basics, organized by color (via Quilters Corner)

A huge batik selection, if that's your thing (via Quilters Corner)

And a great variety of modern fabrics (via Quilters Corner)

One of the strengths of the shop is that they have an insane variety of classes you can take. That's where I took my "Learn to Quilt" class about a year ago this time! Seriously, look at this schedule and drool. They're great about incorporating a variety of techniques and interests in their classes--learning to sew, bag making (they love their bags!), art quilts, machine quilting, learning to use your machine--you name it, they've probably got it.

The store is owned by four women who started it (with a fifth partner who has since retired) in 1995. So these ladies have some definite staying power! Since this is a relatively small community (only about 20,000 people, plus a whole bunch of students), they have to serve the interests of pretty much everyone. That means there are Civil War reproductions, batiks, and modern fabrics, all living together. Luckily, this is also a community that values the arts and local business, so hopefully they will be around a lot longer!

They have also been kind enough to host the fledgling Ithaca Modern Quilt Guild. This group was started up by Pat at Color Me Quilty, and though I've only been able to make it to one of three meetings so far, it sounds like turnout has been great! I'm looking forward to being involved consistently this semester.

So yesterday I patronized "my" wonderful shop. Didn't get too much (I'm trying to cut down on buying fabric with no clear project in mind... student budgets, you know) but I did end up with several fat quarters, one of which will probably work its way into my BOM project.

Fun stuff! I love the print from "Notting Hill" (far right) and I really need it in the aqua and red.

So if you didn't make it to your LQS yesterday, no worries. I'm sure they'd be happy to see you this weekend too. :)

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Wednesday, January 23, 2013

WIP: The Ghost of Christmas Past

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas... *hangs head in shame* 

Ok, so I didn't get all of my Christmas sewing done, and I still have this quilt I need to finish! Yikes--so very, very late. Luckily, this isn't a very involved project--I'm just going to add some very thick borders to this to make it more grown-up sized, so the piecing is pretty easy. Of course, that makes it more embarrassing that I'm still working on it as we approach February.

Such is life, I suppose. It does make me happy to see "Joy" all together like that. What a great Christmas collection!

In other news, I'm about to take the plunge on my first-ever BOM-- it's the Skill Builder run by Alyssa at Pile O' Fabric.

The first block is the "Sound Wave" and it is supposed to look like this:

The Sound Wave
And here's what I'm using for this block:

Here are my fabric pulls for the entire project:

And I found this Jennifer Paganelli "West Indies" print in my stash. I didn't have as much as I thought, which is too bad, because I think it's perfect for the back. Since we're doing QAYG, I'm considering getting another yard and a half and then using just the plain blue for the rest of the blocks.

Speaking of the "plain blue," I'm super nervous about using that as a background fabric for my blocks. My original inspiration for my color scheme was this:

Which I love. But when I bought the blue, it seemed so primary color-y to me that now I'm scared the whole thing will look juvenile. Hopefully the relatively subdued and monochromatic nature of the rest of the fabrics will keep it more sophisticated. But I've decided that I'll take some risks on this quilt. If I completely hate it, I can always give it away. :)

Speaking of which, I have two WIPs I need to get out of the way, but then I am DEFINITELY starting my own quilt (not just because it is 8 degrees here either.) I visited my boyfriend last week and totally hogged the quilt I made him! I almost stole it, which indicates to me that I need to finally make myself a quilt.

Linking up with WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced, where I will no doubt have the lone Christmas project. :)

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Monday, January 21, 2013

A Little of This, A Little of That

So, I really haven't blogged much this month! Or sewn, really. I spent some time after New Year's with my family and friends in Nebraska, and had a great time. Then I drove to Michigan to spend some time with the boyfriend. We had a great time together too!

Fancy dinner (Christmas tradition) and then the symphony! We're so posh.

Now, I'm finally back in New York, and ready for a new semester to begin (well... ready-ish). Thankfully, I have a Tuesday-Thursday class this semester, so I get one more day (today) to prepare! I'm only a TA this semester, instead of an instructor like I was last semester, so that means a good deal less preparation on my end, which is great, since the class I'm TAing is totally out of my area and I know nothing about it. :)

Yesterday afternoon, after unpacking my car (which, after driving halfway across the country and living out of it for a month, looked like a hoarder car) and getting things in order, I made a couple of Valentine's projects I'd pinned on Pinterest. I'm so happy with how they came out!

This argyle heart wreath is my favorite. The tutorial can be found here. I used a 12" wreath form, and 14 hearts that were about 2" x 2". This is a very easy project, though the tediousness of wrapping yarn around a wreath form should not be underestimated. Do it while watching a movie or a few TV shows. I plowed through four episodes of Arrested Development just in the wrapping stage.

Worth the carpal tunnel.

But isn't it SO cute?

I also made the Valentine canvas that Quilt Story wrote about last week. Very quick, easy project! The hardest part was keeping cat hair out of the Mod Podge (in retrospect, doing this on my living room floor was probably not my finest thought.) I made the little one to brighten up my dreary basement office, because we're in the middle of the gray six-month stretch of winter here.

Speaking of the six-month winter, I'm blaming that for the horrid lighting in these. I couldn't get good lighting no matter where I put them in my apartment. Sorry!

Christmas Placemats

This is something I never blogged about! I wanted to make placemats for my grandma out of this fabric ever since I saw it last summer. She's not actually Swedish, but she married a Swede and did so wholeheartedly, and now can out-Swede many a Swede. Of course, I waited until Christmas to do it, and the problems I had with them meant that it was January before I finally finished them for her.

I hate them. They caused me so much trouble! And why? They're placemats, possibly the easiest sewing project on the planet. I initially wanted to bind them, but that was just a horrific disaster for whatever reason. Seriously, I've never had problems binding things, but it just was NOT happening on these. So I topstitched around the edge for the rest of them.

What fun fabric though, huh?

Sigh. I never want to look at them again. But since they're my grandma's, I'll probably have to. :)

Cake Carrier Fail

My birthday is at the tail end of December. I made a cake to take to a New Year's party to celebrate. My mom had stored some leftover Christmas goodies in the oven in order to save counter space and protect them from the dog. She had warned me to make sure I took them out of the oven before I pre-heated it. I said "sure thing" and promptly forgot. And then this happened.

The cake inside was miraculously ok and unharmed. But I did have to buy a new cake carrier for my mom. :) At least she was a good sport, and we got a good laugh out of it!

Linking up this miscellany to Plum and June's Monday link up, which is being hosted by the very sweet, kind and extremely talented Heidi this week. Here's to more actual sewing in the near future! Pin It

Thursday, January 3, 2013

My First BOM: The Skill Builder

As I've read through quilty resolutions the past few days, I've noticed that BOMs pop up a lot. Some people want to try them. Some people want to reduce their participation in them! I've never done any bees or BOMs or anything like that, and I'm pretty ok with that decision--my schedule is unpredictable, and since sewing is a hobby and release for me, I don't think I'd do well feeling compelled to do something. If I'd like to not sew for a couple of weeks, I like to have the freedom to do that. So I wasn't sure these group sewing activities would be for me.

However, I saw Julie at Jolie Maxtin mention the Skill Builder BOM hosted by Alyssa at Pile O' Fabric. That piqued my interest--I have skills that need building, right? So I checked it out, and I think I'm going to do it!

Pile O' Fabric

The quilt Alyssa has planned is very modern in design--more modern than my tastes usually run, in fact. But there are so many blocks on there that I would never, ever choose (or think of) to make on my own that I think it will be a great way to get out of the ol' comfort zone and learn some different things. The finished quilt is pretty huge, but she also has it planned as a quilt-as-you-go project, and there is an emphasis on FMQ too, which will also be great for me.

I spent some time last night considering what my color scheme should be, and though this is still very much open for debate, I'm guessing that it will revolve around blues, greens, and purples. I'd like to do something unusual for the dominant solid background--so we will see what I think of for that!

Check it out! It's obvious that Alyssa has already put a ton of thought and work into this.

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