Monday, January 30, 2012

The One About Solids

It is only fitting that I talk about my For the Love of Solids swap item for Sew Modern Monday, as Megan is one of the creators of this fun swap!

I got my design idea from a piece of fabric printed from Spoonflower [I'll have to go through my design process later] and several iterations of a design later I had this:

People were really against green [poor unloved green] and so I switched my palette to a turquoise and teal scheme.

I made my own template, but forgot to add a seam allowance on the top, and that resulted in beautiful shapes with beautiful points that I showed a picture of here, but those points were chopped off as soon as I sewed the hexie units together. Very sad.

But I'm diligent [read: stubborn] and gave the template drawing another go. This time instead of cutting up all my fabric before I tested it out I used some scraps I don't like to ensure that it was going to turn out right. I should have done that the first time...

I'm sure that more prolific bloggers are more familiar with this, but when this worked out and I had beautiful points and it came together like I imagined in my head...I was giddy...unfortunately, my boyfriend could care less that I cut up a bunch of fabric to sew it into a different shape. Luckily I have you guys! 

 So here's my dilemma. Maybe someone can weigh in on this? The top picture shows a completed column of 4 hexies sewn together. If you refer back to the picture, you will see that there are columns of solid color [in my case gray not green] in between the columns of this shape. But they don't have the 1/2" finished white border. So, do I use my existing template to make gray hexies to nestle as shown, or do I attempt to make a new template that is the size of an entire column by tracing the sides [as indicated by the pink line]?

I think my shapes got a little warped when sewing, as hard as I tried to not pull at the fabric, so I'm not sure if that's going to hinder me...

Anyways, feel free to tell me your thoughts/opinions about my project and dilemma, or just tell me what you're having for dinner tonight and how long you've ignored doing laundry [oh, I think that last one is just me]! And hop over to Megan's to check out some of the other projects!

Sunday, January 29, 2012

These are a few of my favorite things [from the past week]

A new color combo I'm loving. Can't get enough of coral lately.

 Cutest Girl Scouts ever. Took some pictures at our Tuesday meeting, including this "funny faces" photo.

 Went on an 8 mile bike ride/picnic on Wednesday with my boyfriend. It was a beautiful day.

 Cheap citrus in Florida in the winter. LOVE grapefruit with a little sugar on top.

 Halfway done with the mustache!

Went to dinner last night with my beautiful younger sister. We shared 4 appetizers!

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Sew happy it's Saturday ;)

Untitled by Sew Festive
I've cut fabrics for a 16" Swoon. I've also decided I'm not really so much a fan of multiple Swoons together on a quilt. I know that's like the point of the pattern, but I do like the block, so it'll always be just one Swoon at a time for me. I bought that Children at Play floral because I thought I needed some girly prints that weren't so geometric. But I like geometric prints and I'm not into pink and girly. So I figured I'd use it for this so that the fabric doesn't feel unloved, but I'm not sure what I'm going to do with it when I'm finished. Valentines Day decoration? A gift? I haven't a clue. Also, that Silent Cinema print might be my favorite print!

Got my Pillow Talk swap partner last night and this morning I pulled fabrics. I'm fairly certain I won't use all of these, but I pulled them because they all work together so I can take away as I need to without having to worry about if they still all go. I have a couple ideas for this already and I'm excited to work with my favorite color palette [the swap mamas tried to match people up that way so that it would be a better experience, so hats off to them!]

My template for my solids project was off on one side, leaving no seam allowance and chopping off those points. We can't have that! So I drew a new template last night and re-cut all my fabrics. I'm not really sure what to do with all the pieces that are too short on the one side? 

Tonight I'm getting some beautiful uninterrupted sewing time since my boyfriend will be going out to dinner with his dad. I'm excited to turn on some good background TV [yes, there are certain shows that I consider good for just background listening] and sew away on some of these projects! :)

Are you getting some good sewing time in this weekend?

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Keeping myself accountable

Because we can't have a post with no pictures!
 In the spirit of actually wanting to accomplish my 2012 goals, I thought that near the end of each month I'd go through and see if I'd finished any of them in the past month.

To refresh, my goals were as follows:

Sewing and life goals for 2012:

  • Find a job that I love! Or just a job that pays me :) [already got leads and interviews under my belt for this!] Sadly, this is not happening as fast as I'd like...
  • Be ok with possibly having to move away from family and friends for that job. Mixed emotions on this, depending on the day.
  • Make a king-size quilt for my bed [got some design choices]. Purposely nothing on this until I am absolutely sure it is a design I love.
  • Get better at FMQ other than stippling. I've done no FMQ in the new year, only straight-line quilting.
  • Make some clothing [already have a dress pattern and the Schoolhouse Tunic pattern!] DONE! I made my Schoolhouse Tunic, and it was aaalmost perfect. Never fear, I've cut out the pieces for another one. I'm going to keep trying until I get it right! As for the Lisette dress, I haven't found a fabric I like for it yet.
  • Bake more. Not just desserts. Because I do that plenty. Breads and healthier stuff. I have made a concerted effort to do this! I've already made banana nut bread, and two loaves of beer bread. I've also made blueberry muffins from scratch, tried 4 or 5 new recipes, and made my own soup [that's where healthy comes in. I think]
  • Have a smoothie in the morning at least every other day [almost to this frequency!] And add things like spinach to them. Ok, no spinach yet. Although I have thrown tofu in my smoothies. And I've discovered that adding a banana to a berry smoothie adds a fantastic layer of flavor.
  • I'd love to learn to knit, but have tried many many times, and it hasn't clicked yet. Uh, I petted the yarn at Joann's the other day?
  • Purchase all new living room furniture. Yeah, until my first goal is complete this isn't happening.
  • Join a sewing bee [this is amusing, because almost every blogger that I've read has said they want to decrease the number of bees and swaps they're in. Makes room for me I guess!] Alright, I'm still scared. But I am in 2 swaps, and those are like baby bees, right? No? Oh. Darn.
  • Would absolutely love to be able to attend the Sewing Summit. And hopefully by October I'll get over fears of going somewhere to meet people that I've never met in person :) Obviously I can't have completed this yet :)
  • Project 366. I've become a lot more comfortable with just pulling out my phone and taking a picture, and the camera isn't half bad, so I'm hoping that a combo of phone and real camera photos will document 2012! It's been 24 days in the new year and I have taken at least 1 picture each day, and many days I have more than 1. Some days my pictures are super lame, like what I cooked for dinner that day [I don't do much, as I have no job, and I can't do much, as I have no money], or a pile of clean laundry as tall as me that needs to be folded. Still, someday I'll really enjoy knowing that 2012 started out lame, and only got better!
So I have fully completed 1 out of 12 [wow how awesome am I, that's like a goal a month AND I DIDNT EVEN REALIZE]. However, I'm counting the food and Project 366 as wins because I've done them consistently, although they are ongoing goals. So we'll say 3 out of 12 and call it a day. I'm pretty pleased!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

How is it Wednesday again?!

But seriously, how is it that another week has gone by!?

There's been a lot of progress around here lately. Including the ongoing WIP of my fitness level. By the time I got to college I was so tired from playing 2 or 3 sports a season that I started taking naps in between classes instead. So I've gone from being a varsity cross country runner and soccer player to being sad that I live on the 3rd floor. [Ok, so I'd be sad regardless about that...have you ever had to lug groceries up 3 flights of stairs? It sucks]

So today I went on an 8 mile bike ride. In the 80 degree weather that is Orlando right now. I had a great time!

And now, the sewing WIPs, because I know that nobody really cares whether I got my exercise today haha.

My tumbler table topper on the table for now, still unbound. I hope to get it done this weekend, or else I'm afraid it'll never get done!

Worked on my big item in the For The Love of Solids swap last night. I had to make my own template, so I used the cardboard that comes on the back of charm packs. I didn't realize until after I had already traced out one color that I was missing the seam allowance on the bottom, so I had to retrace some pieces. It should be interesting trying to piece this whole thing together though; it might require some partial seams.


The color options. As you can see in the top photo, the lighter pieces are Kona Ice Frappe. The design calls for very skinny borders on each side of the diamond shapes, like a half inch maximum. I originally planned for these borders to be the off-white color at the top, and then the space in between to be the gray. But gray makes the whole thing pop so much. Now I'm not sure if I should omit the skinny borders completely...

I joined the Made in Cherry QAL and chose this stack of fabrics. I don't want to just make the large star though. I want to put my own spin on it. So I've been drawing out ideas.

Other projects:
-Ruby pyramid quilt - no progress
-Charm quilt for a friend - don't have many fabrics in the requested color palette, and I have to wait a bit before I can buy more fabric
-2nd Schoolhouse Tunic - I'd really like to sew this in one sitting if possible this time, so I'm waiting until Thurs or Fri to tackle this

Go get your weekly wow's over at Lee's with all the other people who linked up their projects!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Tumbler table topper

 Remember that stack up there? It became something!

But before I talk about that, let me mention something about the Kitchy Kitchen fabric.

The picture is blurry because I was trying to iron and take the picture at the same time. The fabric changes color with heat! Instead of being lime green it turns to an olive green, almost goldenrod. It's not permanent, but is a little worrying. I haven't put the fabric in the dryer yet, so hopefully nothing bad happens!

 I had 12 tumblers. And wanted to center them in some Essex linen. This required sewing the tumblers together into strips first. It took me a couple of tries to get the angle of the Essex strips correct so that they would follow a straight line after I pressed the seams flat. 

 But hey! Look! It worked! [And I'm LOVING the color combo, if I do say so myself]

I have had a half yard of this Secret Garden print since right after the line came out. I LOVE it. I love everything about it. But I was having the darndest time figuring out how to use it. I certainly didn't want to cut that beautiful large print up into smaller pieces. So I cut out a solitary circle to use in the back of the topper so that it will be reversible. This layout was one of my attempts to figure out what fabrics to use with it.
 I quilted echo lines right outside the tumblers on each side, then quilted another set of 3 lines about 2.5" from the first set.

This is pretty small at approximately 16x24", but my table is only 38" square, so I wasn't looking for it to be overwhelming. It still needs some binding, of course, but I need it to be the perfect match for both the front and the back. I'm thinking a hot pink? We shall see. I'll probably use this on the table anyways until I get the binding on it.

I adore how the back came out! I can totally image a candle sitting in the middle of that circle. But, as you'll notice, the square ended up crooked. I thought I was so careful in placement. It's driving me nuts. I'm trying to decide if I should trim it square from the back and hopefully not notice the subsequent crookedness on the front...

Fresh Poppy Design

So hooray for finishing projects! [or almost finishing...] I'm linking up with Fabric Tuesday at Quilt Story so that my table topper is in good company!

Next up: more work on the Tangerine Tango Challenge and my For The Love of Solids Swap :)

Sunday, January 22, 2012

These are a few of my favorite things [from the past week]

Starbucks and the 2nd book in the Game of Thrones series. Excellent books, excellent latte.
Judge all you want, but Home Depot hot dogs are delicious. Grilled onions are a must. Makes running errands better!
Movie night! We saw Haywire and got to see a girl kick some butt.
Surprise HP package from a friend. She sends me presents in payment for me making her a quilt.
Tumbler blocks for my table topper. I'll be sharing the finished project tomorrow!
Had drinks with friends last night. I'm lucky enough to have a group of friends that has stuck together through high school and college and beyond!
McLovin! Who knew he was a Raiders fan ;)

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Organizational Saturday!

I grew up in a family of extreme organization. I am not that on top of things now that I have my own place. Mainly because we have more stuff than we have space. Also, I haven't been able to get too many nice organizational items to make sure that everything has a home.

Still, I do what I can.

Small shelves. Nice baskets. Glass hurricane jars. These are things that I can do.

My sewing space, despite being less than a month old, was in need of better organization before I could continue working. Especially since I've been cutting out patterns. I need a clean surface.

So I purged. Very traditional fabric that I inherited from my Oma [German for grandma, for those who don't know]. Spools of thread that were just about empty. Random junk. I threw away a whole plastic bin of junk! Yay! I also organized my grandma's sewing box and am airing out her sewing bench so I can store things in there.

 This is all the fabric I have that is a FQ or larger. Most of it is half yard cuts. My baby stash :)

 My corner is slowly growing! I put up a little corkboard [where my Tangerine Tango Challenge piece is pinned up for now]. I changed out the stuff on the corner shelf.

 Now its glass jars full of my thread [with most often used thread at the top, of course!] and my vintage button collection. Plus a little coaster set :)

 My scraps got a new home: on the left, a recycled Twizzler container holding pieces that are considered big scraps, like fat-eight size, but less than a FQ; warm scraps; cool scraps [the plastic bins are $1 at Home Depot]. I store these under my table where it overlaps with the back of my couch.

 This basket now holds leftover pieces of binding from various projects. The longer pieces are held together in a coil by a binder clip.

Have you been putting off cleaning up and clearing out your space? You should do it! I feel revitalized and ready to create! And I promise I'll be showing actual projects next time I post ;)

Thursday, January 19, 2012

What my Thursday looks like

I'll be eating some more of this bread: 

Ok, ok, that's a lie. We already ate that entire loaf, and I made a new loaf last night. This time with cheese. Yum.

Beer Bread [you can just omit the cheese if you want regular bread]
3 c. all-purpose flour
3 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1/4 c. sugar
1 c. cheese [I used extra sharp cheddar]
12 oz. fluid beer [that's 1 bottle/can; you can use any kind and it will give it subtly different flavors, I used Newcastle Brown Ale]
2 tbsp. melted butter

Mix everything but the butter and put in loaf pan. Pour the melted butter over the top of the dough. Bake for one hour at 375. Devour.

I will be cutting the pattern pieces for my next attempt at the Schoolhouse Tunic from this cute seersucker plaid. I hope that the seersucker part of it won't make it difficult, but I didn't like any of the patterns for the regular plaid:

Shhh, don't tell, but I also got a small piece of this Alexander Henry print [which would also make a cool shirt!]:

Will continue contemplating ideas for my partner in the For the Love of Solids swap:

Enjoy your Thursday! :)