Monday, August 27, 2012

Let's Get Acquainted Blog Hop Stop

Many moons ago, the lovely Beth over at Plum and June asked who wanted to join in on a blog hop!  (Answer: ME!!!!)

Plum and June

 This is, I believe, my first ever hop (at least one that wasn't a giveaway hop)!

Okay, so a little about me in general before I answer the craft related questions.
I'm a bellydancer in my spare time.  I once actually made some costumery as part of an Eternal Maker challenge.  Yes, I actually danced in it.  No, I did not win the challenge.  (But I am hoping the photo of me IN the costumery wasn't what threw me down.)
I live in Atlanta with an inconveniently snuggly, somewhat evil Tuxedo cat who tests all the quilts for me, a smooshy cocker spaniel who tries to boot the cat off the quilt so he can prove his quilt testing skills with his little victory dance (what we lovingly refer to as rubbing his stink on it), and an awesome fiance who cooks almost everything I eat (I have some really weird food allergies...onions, anyone?) who I refer to here as The Pirate.  Oh, I'm a teacher.  And a klutz.  And a quilt along whore.  (Seriously, peoples, I just finished the Soda Pop QAL over the summer and the last installment of the My Precious QAL.  I'm currently doing the Sew Intertwined QAL, the How Far Will You Go QAL, and the Hexy MF QAL.  I really want to start the Scrap Vomit QAL but I'm waiting til at least one of the others are done.  That said, each project has surprised me with how much I'm loving each quilt, for teaching me new skills or playing with new fabrics...Currently using Hope Valley on two of the QALs.)

Some of my quilty projects:

quilty mosaic

How long have you been quilting?
I made my first quilt in college.  It started off rather inauspiciously with stitches.  I had discovered all these silk remnants and was going to crazy quilt style a quilt.  Long story short...handwashing, trips to a washing line, sliding glass door, cat that wasn't allowed outside, door slammed on finger.  Oh, and I was home alone when I did it and my dad's secretary had to come get me to take me as I couldn't drive my non-powersteering car without two hands.  Sigh.  I said I was a klutz.  That quilt idea got tabled, and I made another one.  I did the top, and my mom actually tied it.   I found a piece of that quilt in my stash.  Um, metallic paisley? Really?
I didn't really start quilting again til the summer of 2011, when I started this blog.  It's been non stop since then.

Favorite Quilting Tips
Measure at least twice before you cut.  CHANGE THE ROTARY BLADE REGULARLY.  Then, PLEASE remember it is newly sharp and don't cut yourself.  Clover binding clippies (they're red and clear) work fabulously for binding and don't scratch you up like some of the metal ones do.

Wish list fabric
Gah.  Too long.  Anything by Tula Pink (I'm mildly obsessed).  Heather Ross (I have bits hoarded all over my sewing room).  I'm also a big fan of Lizzy House and Laurie Wishbrun.  Lotta's cool, too.  Honestly, other than those designers, I'm picking stuff that just appeals to me.

Favorite Craft Book
I got it for my birthday and am exercising much self control in not starting a project from it yet.  Hexa-Go-Go by Tacha Bruecher.

Favorite Book
My all time two favorites are One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez and The Book Thief by Markus Zusak.

Favorite Children's Book
Willy Wonka's Chocolate Factory

Favorite quilting tool
My rotary cutter

Favorite Music to listen to while quilting
I actually tend to sew by the TV.  I like marathons of shows, especially Psych, and horrible SyFy original movies.

Binding-by hand or machine?
By hand.  But I'm sloooooooow.

If I'd only known
How much of my space was going to get eaten up by my fabric hoard.  I'd have started with better storage.

My Tutorial: A Polaroid Snack Mat!

Snack close up

It's not really earth shattering.  I've liked the Polaroid blocks I've seen up and about the internet.  (I know there was a swap of them a while back.)  I don't have a plan to make a quilt of them right now, but I have some cool charm squares from a fussy cut charm swap.  I got my batch from Allegory over at Sew Allegorical.  (She's rad and local to me!)
I wanted to use a couple of them to make something I could use every day.
Coaster/snack mat it is!

I took the tutorial on making the tiny versions and amped it up for a bigger size.

For each coaster, I used a 5 in charm square, 2 strips of white Kona measuring 2 in by 5 in, 1 strip of white Kona measuring 2 in by 8 in, and 1 strip of Kona measuring 3 in by 8 in.  I also used a piece of batting, approximately 9 in by 10 in.  For the back, I used some Kona charcoal, a piece about 8.5 by 7 in.

First sew the side strips on.

Then sew the top and bottom strips on.

I attached the batting by sewing around the "picture" part of the Polaroid.

Polaroid with Batting

Then I trimmed up the Polaroid block (with batting attached) to 8.5 in high and 7 in wide.

I sewed the back on (by placing right sides together and sewing around it, leaving a 2 in opening for turning) with a 1/2 in seam.  Hint:  Don't do what I did and leave the opening on a corner.  Your corners will look better if you leave the 2 in opening in the top or the bottom middle instead.

Clip the corners, turn inside out, and press.

Then sew a 1/8" topstitch and you're done!

finished Polaroid

If you wanted to be super fab, you could embroider a message on the Polaroid before you sew the front to the batting!

It's making my afterschool snack that much more fun!

Thanks for visiting my blog!  I hope you'll come back!

Please visit the other folk hosting this week:
Aug 28
        Lucy from Charm About You

Aug 30
       Elaine from Dashasel Sews
       Jess from The Elven Garden
(Jess is co-hosting a phenomenal QAL right now, and it's not too late to join in!)

Sunday, August 26, 2012

what I did this weekend...

I tried to catch up on projects....

I'm all caught up on my How Far will you Go? QAL blocks:

How Far WIll you go QAL, St Louis star<How Far Will you Go QAL, Jack in the Box blocks

I did my 3x6 blocks.  I'm worried they are too plain.

3.x6 blocks, hive J

I have 2/3 of my Woven blocks for the Sew Intertwined QAL done.  It took me a long time to wrap my head around the combo of paper piecing and y-seams.

woven blocks!

I have plotted my Sailor Mouth swap items.
I also got a tutorial object done for my stop on the Let's Get Acquainted blog hop stop this week.
I started sewing my Hexy MF rows.  I'm doing two at a time so I can start sewing them together.
I also finished hand quilting my Swoon mini, but I still have to do the binding.
I sewed a secret block.
Oh, and I spent time at school prepping my math stuff for the first official math class tomorrow.


Um...I forgot to take pics of the finished Across the Sea boy quilt.  But it's done!  I have yet to get cracking on my Medallion hand quilting.  That's on tap after I finish the Woven blocks.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Twas a great first day of school!

I met all my kids for this year.  (Well, I have to find out who is in my Math class this year, but I won't know that til Friday.)

It was a lovely day. Lots of hugs.  Smiles.  Questions, questions, and more questions!

They're a chatty bunch.

I didn't sleep well last night.  The Pirate stayed up til 1:30am cooking so I'd have lunches this week.  I kept waking up and worrying that he wasn't in bed yet.  Plus, I (like many of my students probably) had trouble sleeping the night before the first day of school.

Post school, I planned on sewing, but I came home and took a nap with the animals snuggling me on the sofa.  (The cocker doesn't usually like smooshing for a lie down on the sofa, but he was smooshed between me and the sofa back.)

I worked on my Swoon mini today.  It's just needs binding sewn on.  I hand quilted a bit o' perle on it.  I have yet to bust into my Medallion hand quilting.  I'm going to try to get that going this week.

I finished the Across the Sea boy quilt on my bday.  (I just had to handsew the binding on.)  It's in the dryer.  I'll try to get pics of it tomorrow.

Mostly, I've been working on my Hexy MF.  I have one row sewn all together.  I have a few flowers left to assemble.

Hexy in its glory

What I need to work on Wed/Thurs:
mailing out charms/scrap vomit squares
Sewing the 12 blocks left for the Sew Intertwined QAL.  I think I'm doing the paperpieced ones.
Catching up on the How Far Will You Go paper pieced block BEFORE the new blocks come out.
Sewing my Sailor Mouth swap item.  (I have a design in my head.)

Tomorrow, I ZUMBA.  So, we'll see how much juice I have left after that and school.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

I had a fab birthday!

I kind of stretched it out over three days.

Friday, I went to the opening of FolkFest with the Pirate and two of my favorite ladies.  That meant free T-shirts and lots and lots art to look at.
Um..I forgot to take pics.  I had a lot of fun talking to Scott Weslow from Mud and Guts in Maine.  The Pirate got an evil Tiki mug from him.  We both kind of loved an evil plant vase (reminded me of the plant from Little Shop) wearing a Hawaiian shirt.
The ladies, the Pirate, and I went for dinner after to TukTuk.  I had Pad See Yoo.  I haven't had it a long long time.  It was super yummy....I ate it all.  (So much for my weightwatcher plan this weekend.)

Saturday, the Pirate and my two ladies went to the Piedmont Art Festival.  I didn't buy anything other than King of Pops popsicles, but I saw lots of more lovely art (and the Pirate bought me Sesame fries from Yumbi, which I think is one of my favorite food trucks).

After heading home to shower off the sweat from walking around for hours in the sun, we headed out to see "The Campaign."  I laughed a lot more than I expect to (and I expected to laugh).

Today, my actual birthday, my first present was Tacha's Hexa Go Go book from The Pirate.  He made me homemade hash and an egg for breakfast. Then I went to Whipstitch, got some stash (more than I should have bought), and then headed to Zumba at Atlanta Fusion Bellydance (again with my two ladies and one more).  It felt really good to turn 38 trying to stay in shape.  (And it made me feel less guilty about the cupcakes later.)

I came home to sew, in theory.  I ended up not getting much done, but laundry.  I have work tomorrow.  I need to print out the paper piecing sheets for the last installment of Sew Intertwined and the most recent block for the How Far Will You Go QAL.  The reality was I wasn't feeling great about spatial stuff today, so I didn't want to start cutting my Hope Valley and screw it up.

It's on tap for tomorrow to help me ground myself before school starts with children.  That and cutting up a crapload of charm squares for swaps.

I had a low key eve.  Time with the animals and The Pirate.  He made me hamburgers and roasted taters.  The two ladies had snuck away yesterday to get me cupcakes from CamiCakes.  I split An Elvis and an Almond Raspberry one with The Pirate.  Mmmm.

But, y'all have been patient.  What you really want to know is, who won the giveaway?
I ran 1-57 through the Random Number Generator and it brought up #56!

That is Pat V.!  I'll contact you for your info, so you can get a copy of the pattern from Julie!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

A birthday giveaway!

a bit early.

This one is courtesy of Julie over at Distant Pickles.

She put a call out this summer for pattern testers.
Being the endless student that I am I was super excited for a chance to practice sewing curves.
Plus, her pattern looked ubercool.  Hey, it's called Mod Pop, so how couldn't it be?!
Luckily, she picked me to test it.

Here is my version:
Testing, testing, testing

I did the smallest version because my friends/colleagues just keep on having babies lately.  I seriously can't keep up.  So the next one born will get this one.  (I still have to quilt it and bind it.  School set up has been getting in the way.)

The darker khaki bits were chosen to look cool I ran out of the lighter khaki.
The Pirate may or may not be lobbying for a bigger one in other colors.

It was a lot of fun to make.  I went with the pin the heck out of it method.  I'd be interested in trying the no pin version of curve piecing, but I wanted to go with what I was sure would work.

Julie is awesome-sauce.  She's letting me GIVE A COPY OF HER PATTERN AWAY!!!

Oh, my 38th birthday is Sunday.  So...I'm going to leave the giveaway open until Sunday night, post bday celebration...which won't be too too late because school starts next week.

Here's how to win:  Just leave me a comment.  I'd love it if you follow me, but I'm not going to make it a requirement.  I promise I usually sew's just that school prep is frankly kicking my ass.  (Almost literally.  I had to sit on an ice pack because my left hip is crankypants right now, even after the chiro.)  Please make sure I have way to contact you if you win.

Oh, and iffen you JUST CAN'T WAIT FOR THIS PATTERN or you don't win, you can purchase it over at Craftsy.

Good luck, y'all!  Wish me luck getting my room up to snuff before the newbies come for orientation tomorrow!

Monday, August 13, 2012

Kind of tired and cranky....

Don't get me wrong, I generally love my job.

Today made me cranky.

I have to set up my room.  I came in today, thinking I was supposed to hand off my master ipad for imaging.

Spent an hour and a half setting up a profile to transfer.  And it didn't work.
Spent an additional 6+ hours imaging approx nine ipads, only to discover that the safety settings didn't transfer and will have to be hand entered on each and every ipad.  Um...I have a class set of 32.

I didn't get any of my classroom furniture assembled.  (Summer camp broke a bookshelf.)

I sat down wrong in my office chair, which I didn't realize summer camp lowered and wrenched my back.


And I can't do anything in my room tomorrow because we have retreat.  (We had a lovely dinner tonight, but I was still made me annoyed just because I only got an hour home before I had to head back.)  I'm supposed to facilitate tomorrow, but my headspace was crummy and I'm not sure I "got" the instructions right.  Blarg.

So....I'm not sure I'm getting the sewing I want to get done this week.  That's not helping with the cranky.  Just blarg.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

I get stuff done, just not in the right order....

See, I have a quilt top that needs to be basted and quilted.
And I have a quilt that's good to go except for handsewing the binding.
That was my plan for today, as well as purchasing supplies for the Sailor Mouth Swap.

Well, I did the shopping, but now I have to wait for it to get here.

I ended up mostly just catching up today (and yesterday).

I'm suffering from major brain deadness today.

I packed up stuff to mail, then headed out to run errands and realized at errand #1 that I forgot the packages on the dining room table.  Then I forgot The Pirate's conditioner at the drug store.

So, I made another trip.  Postable stuff posted.  Conditioner purchased.

Anywho, this is what I got done:

My August Nubee blocks:

Nubees, Aug, Hive #2

I think I'm reusing this block for my 3x6 blocks.  Oh, I got some solids to do those today, too.

I caught up on the Sew Intertwined QAL  (did that yesterday, really):

Sew Intertwined, outer blocks

I really love this block.  I am thinking there is a quilt in just these blocks out there in the future.

Caught up on the How Far Will You Go? QAL:

How Far, weeks 2 and 3

I'm apparently on a Hope Valley kick right now.

What I still have to do in the upcoming week:
*Prep my 3x6 blocks
*do this week's blocks for Sew Intertwined (on Fri.)
*do this week's blocks for How Far Will You Go?
*quilt and bind the quilt that was supposed to get done today.  (Also, there is a giveaway coming when it's done)
*Handsew the binding on the Across the Sea boy
*Do some handsewing on the Medallion
*Get the layout done for the Hexy MF (and get some more flowers assembled)

Here's the bummer.  I forgot where I was in the summer relative to where school starts.
I've got my class list.  I'm excited.  Good kids!  (Not that they aren't every year, at least where I teach.)  But, um, I've already started going in to get set up.  School officially starts (with kids) next week.  In the meantime, I have my birthday coming next weekend.  I'll be 38. Eep.

So, there are some things on my to do list for the summer that I have yet to start (in some cases) or finish (in others):
1.  Tank top.  Uh, I washed the fabric.
2.  Embellish skirt.  Uh,  I made the skirt.  I really need to finish this one as I need some clothes for school.
3.  Weekender bag.  I have the supplies, except for feet.  I'm not sure I'm ready to attack this one. It seems a bit scary.
4.  My Swoon mini.  I started hand quilting it.

If anyone figures out a way to get more done, let me know.  I'd like a time machine for my bday.

Thursday, August 9, 2012


The Soda Pop quilt is done.
It went from being a quilt I was uberexcited about to a quilting nightmare in one fell swoop.

I knew it was going to be hard because I was using the tinier Janome to quilt it.
I have to take Foxy in to get checked for the grease issue.

I started quilting it....and the petals that I had spent HOURS ironing on started coming off.
I don't know if it was the humidity or the pulling on the quilt top, but it was ridiculous.

And maddening.  I wasn't going for an unfinished edge applique, but I'm not confident it's not going to fray like mad.  I am going to try to steam it again before I wash it, but BLARG.

I don't think I'm ever going to use Pellon Wonderunder again.  It was odd.  I've used Pellon products before and never had trouble before, but this was redonkulous.

Anyway, here it is, prewash:

Soda Pop done!

Please ignore any threads.

I also caught up on some bee blocks:

Neutral and Not
Neutral and Not, Aug. Neutral and Not, Aug.

Running with Scissors

Running with Scissors, Aug.

I still have to do Nubees, catch up on the Sew Intertwined QAL and How Far will you go QAL, and sew the binding on the Across the Sea boy's quilt....and start handquilting the Medallion.

Yarg.  I spent hours today organizing kid folders.  I don't know if I have to go into work tomorrow or not.  Right now, the dog is all fretty from a thunderstorm.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Semi-regrouped. mostly came out.
Per y'all's advice, I'm going to call the dealer and ask about the foot...but not until next week when the trip is over...certainly before I touch the Soda Pop with it.

I got some stuff photographed while I was waiting on the washer.

I finished (earlier) the first two blocks of the How Far Will You Go? QAL:

Suzannah blocks

I finished the center piece of the Sew Intertwined QAL block:

Sew Intertwined QAL

Yes, I have a bunch of Hope Valley and Denyse stashed...and I won some, so I'm breaking it out. I'm curious to see how alike/different the two quilts come out.

Anyway, the quilt is for The Pirate.  It was my first real FMQ'd quilt.  I guess the fact that it was for him, that I was using a boatload of bee blocks from multiple swaps just raised the commitment level a bit higher than I needed it to be....
add to that PMS...(I've been crying watching the Olympics and talking about the Olympics with a former student/current Zumba partner)...and add stress about flying.  I hate flying now...and my parents meeting his parents...blarg.  Too much stress.

Here's the quilt:

Fiance's quilt!

The spots aren't visible because they're on the left side.
I'm not sure FMQ will ever be my calling.

I finished a Final week project from Camp Thimble.  I haven't started handquilting the Medallion quilt, but today just didn't feel like a good day to do it.

Napkin set
There are six (as opposed to 8) because I ran out of ric rac.  These would totally be awesome baby burp clothes if they were backed in terry cloth.

Also, I need to put a major shout out to Rachael from Imaginegnats.  She sent me an amazing bundle of "scraps" (in reality BIG pieces) from my Improv throwdown with Allegory.  She sent more foxed from Outfoxed...which totally made my day because I had used up my bits.
I may not be able to take pics til I get back from the trip.  But, thank you, Rachael!

Seriously trying not to cry...

as the new machine's FMQ foot got grease on my first (and possibly only) FMQ'd quilt.  It's the biggest quilt I've ever quilted.  It's for The Pirate.
It's now on it's fourth trip through the wash.

I'm afraid to FMQ this grease a common problem?

Anyway, I'm linking up with Lily's Quilts

Lily's Quilts


Still in progress:
Hexy MF
binding needs to be sewn on boy Across the Sea
basted, but now too scared to quilt....Soda Pop
basted, will be hand sewing...Medallion

I'm supposed to be packing for a trip.  Inlaws.  My brother.  My parents.
But I really just want to cry.