Saturday, March 31, 2012

Resolution Recap

How has another month already gone by? We're a quarter of the way through 2012?! I haven't even made a quilt yet in 2012! Granted, I've been working on so many little projects, but still, I am not pleased with myself.

But on to my break-down of the resolutions I did make:

Sewing and life goals for 2012:
  • Find a job that I love! Or just a job that pays me :) While I am still unemployed, I'm doing data entry for some people to get just a little cash in my pocket. And I've been on 3 interviews in the past week and a half. So if you have a job, even if you hate it, take a moment to appreciate that you're employed.
  • Be ok with possibly having to move away from family and friends for that job. No moving in the near future, yay! Erm, at least not farther than like 20 minutes away.
  • Make a king-size quilt for my bed [got some design choices]. I picked a design! And I'm sticking to it! Actually. I picked 2. I think I will make a simple one and a more complex one. I'll be showing the designs next week! Now, to pick fabric :)
  • Get better at FMQ other than stippling. I did some FMQ pebbles and zigzags on my Pillow Talk pillow! [And that pattern may be coming to a friendly publication near you in the near future ;) ]. I really want to do some swirly designs next.
  • Make some clothing [already have a dress pattern and the Schoolhouse Tunic pattern!] As you all have noticed, this has been a very productive clothing month! I've made my 2nd Schoolhouse Tunic, made a Sorbetto, am halfway done with my Banksia, and have several yards of corduroy, knit jersey, and a netted jersey with which to make more stuff. Next thing to tackle: skirts :)
  • Bake more. Not just desserts. Because I do that plenty. Breads and healthier stuff. Hm, this has fallen off a little this month. We have been pretty bad about food this month due to various factors I won't mention. I've tried several recipes over the past month that have just been lackluster, and one was so bad we had to throw it out :(
  • Have a smoothie in the morning at least every other day [almost to this frequency!] And add things like spinach to them. Yes! Spinach in a smoothie last week! Spinach, strawberries, bananas, mangos, pineapple, and peach juice. Verdict: delicious! And while it was a bizarre color, Stephen and I decided we weren't turned off to the smoothie by the color. Yay!
  • I'd love to learn to knit, but have tried many many times, and it hasn't clicked yet. It's officially in the high 80's every day here, so this is on the backburner. Thoughts of knitting in the Florida heat actually make me shudder haha.
  • Purchase all new living room furniture. We are definitely getting new couches when we move next month! Yay! The frame on our love seat is broken, but we moved it to our current apartment anyways. My boyfriend's little brother is moving out on his own, so we're giving him first dibs at any of the furniture/stuff we're getting rid of!
  • 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!] No go on this.
  • 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 :) Well, I had made myself a deal. At the beginning of March I told myself that if I had a job by the time tickets went on sale that I'd go. That isn't looking good at this point ha. And then about 2 weeks ago we found out that some friends of ours had decided their wedding date. We knew it was going to be in October, and wouldn't you know, it's the Friday of Sewing Summit. Now, if it was a Saturday wedding I could probably have gone to both things, but I wouldn't miss their wedding. I'll just have to live vicariously through everyone else.
  • 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! Yay, still going strong! Must start taking more pictures with my camera and not my phone, though. I mean, none of these photos are awesome enough to want to print and have framed, but I've never printed a picture I've taken with my phone, and am worried about the quality...does anyone else have that problem?
I feel good about being consistent with some of my goals, and making good progress in other areas like the FMQ and the king-size quilt. 

Did you have any 2012 resolutions, sewing or otherwise? Are you keeping up with them?

Friday, March 30, 2012


Ok, so this is more clothing. The quilter in me is crying a little bit. But the part of me that needs clothes to wear is cheering. We're all over the place around here.

I made a Sorbetto last night/this morning. I'm all about free patterns! The fabric I used was in the red tag section at Joann's; $7 for the yard I bought, plus an extra 20% off...$5.30 for a shirt? Not too shabby.

I printed out the pattern pieces the other night, using some really nice paper that was already printed on one side [recycle, people!]. I've read that Colette patterns run snug, and I was originally going to cut a size 2, but got nervous and cut a size 4. Mistake. That thing was huge. I also added 4 inches to the hem because based on the pictures in the Colette Flickr group the shirt also runs short. 

Yes, I sewed in my pajamas all day
So this shirt would have only taken me about an hour[ish] to sew up since I omitted the pleat, but I had some fitting issues. I hope this is due to what I believe was a shirt cut too large, and not inherent in the pattern on my body. Look at that back puff? If that's not the most attractive thing you've ever seen, then I tip my hat to you. Just kidding...

These were taken at about 10:30 pm when my boyfriend got home and I begged for his assistance using my best crazy sewist eyes puppydog eyes. I needed his help pinning out the extra fabric to make some vertical back darts. Now, this is my 3rd completed shirt, and 4th shirt that I've worked on, so you Internet peeps know the extent of my apparel knowledge. Aka, no knowledge. But it just made sense to do that, and I checked out a shirt that I own from H&M and sort of tried to replicate those back darts. 

The pins mark where the most fabric is gathered, and then I just tapered the darts up and down from there. And in my most humble voice, they look awesome.

You can see the vertical darts here. I promise they're even!
Hey, it's a tank! It's still a little big around the neckline and shoulders, causing it to slip around a little, leaving some extra fabric at the back if it's not on straight. And it wrinkles like a bitch.

But it's ok, because then I get dressed up like this:
And feel perfectly happy with my efforts.

Now I just have to determine how to attach this vintage trim to the neckline [which is stitched down, so I can wear the tank in the meantime] and I'll be all set!

I'm linked up with Crazy Mom Quilts for Finish it Up Friday and Amylouwho for Sew and Tell!

Oh, and I got all my squares cut, and have dedicated this weekend to quilting. I'm excited to sew something that will fit, no matter what size I make it ;)

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Have you been a Farmer's Wife?

Afternoon, all!

I'm about to rush off and make mini first aid kits at my Girl Scout meeting today [inside Easter eggs, no less...I'm all about using what I have on hand], but I wanted to drop a quick note.

Sunni at Love Affair with my Brother has a linky party up [with prizes!] for you to link up projects that have been made with Farmer's Wife blocks. So if you have any of those, head on over!

Some of my favorite things have been made with these blocks. Ok, with one block in particular. It's not my fault! The Century of Progress block is just so fabulous!

For your viewing pleasure:

#2 Autumn Tints
#18 Century of Progress
#18 Century of Progress
#77 Seasons
#18 Century of Progress

Monday, March 26, 2012

The Emperor's New Clothes [Emperess?]

Have any of you heard of the Spring Top Sewalong? It's been hosted by Made by Rae for the past few years, and is a delightful place to feel inspired to sew some tops up for oneself.

Plus, I've recently been consumed by a clothing-sewing frenzy [how serendipitous], so I thought I'd enter some of my tops. You can enter up to 4, so I'm entering my 2nd Schoolhouse Tunic for this week's pool [they pull favorites from each week for 4 weeks].

But I also am working diligently on my Banksia top, which I plan to finish in the next couple days and enter next week, thus maximizing my chances of winning a prize. Although, truth be told, I don't think my shirt sewing is going to be winning any prizes, but I do appreciate this opportunity to feel inspired and motivated to keep working on my apparel-making skills. 

So my Banksia progress? Slow and steady wins the race, right?

The yellow arrow on this photo shows where the bust dart is on me at this point. The pink arrow shows where it needs to actually be. I'm basing this on shirts that I already own that fit, not on any significant knowledge of bust darts. This picture is also before I fixed the collar, as it had a ripple on the front. To fix the dart problem, I took the shirt up at the shoulder stitching. The sides are not sewn together yet in this photo. This also helps the placket area not go to my bellybutton.

So at this point the sides are stitched [hello French seams!] and in my attempt to avoid the placket as long as possible [I don't quite understand the instructions...] I'm doing everything else first. So now I'm to the point where I have to decide if I want sleeves or not. I live in Florida, so sleeveless would be heavenly, but if I add sleeves then this shirt is a nice enough material to wear in an office setting.

I also don't know if I should take in the sides more. I know it looks pretty baggy on me, but it's a flowy type fabric, and I was planning on tucking it in a lot, so that will define the waist a bit more.

But OMG let's just bask in the inside of my shirt for a moment. Those French side seams. That single-fold bias tape that I made from some leftover AMH voile as a little surprise pop of color. 

And lest you think I've given up on quilting...simple patchwork just isn't too exciting until I have a finished top. But soon! Like, this week! And I've got plans, baby, big plans, so stick around for quilting galore in the near future :)

Sunday, March 25, 2012

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

Oh hey, my purse goes so well with my favorite interview suit!

Coupons got us $5 off our meal AND a free dessert...yay for lunch dates!

Wild Friday night plans. The beer totally helped me be more successful with my 2nd attempt at cutting/sewing this top.

Canoeing with friends. I have arm muscles like the Hulk now.

Because there's nothing better after a hot Florida day than cold tile.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Utter Failure

I've never had to scrap a quilting project. I never use patterns, so if something gets cut wrong or is a little off from what I imagined then I just make it work.

But um, this first Banksia attempt is going in the trash [actually, I don't want to just throw away good fabric...what can I do with pieces of rayon?]

My bust darts looked so good after I sewed them. Except they weren't even. So um, unless my bosoms aren't even...that ain't gonna work.

Then I scrapped the front and back of the top because there were so many other problems due to shifting of the silky rayon while I was cutting. After browsing the Internet [I would have never been able to sew if the Internet wasn't around!] I'm going to layer the rayon between paper for my next cutting attempt.

Back to quilting for the night, because cotton squares aren't as finicky as shirt-shaped rayon.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Plans for simple patchwork

My friend Kelly saw Stephen's simple patchwork quilt over the Christmas holidays and loved it. I said I'd make her a quilt. She said she wanted to pay me, but felt weird about it. So she's mailing me presents! I said she totally didn't need to compensate me in any way, but hey, I'm not going to turn away a present that appears at my doorstep! ;) [that means you guys can send me presents too! haha]

So far I've gotten: A Polaroid Pogo printer, Harry Potter scarf and pen [we're die-hard fans], puzzles, bath products, jewelry, and a pair of slippers. Quite the variety, yes?

So this quilt has to be goooood. She may want patchwork on the front, but I plan to spiff up the back a bit to surprise her!

I've pulled these fabrics. She requested purple-ish colors be involved, and I settled on this mulberry tone that I think suits her/goes well with the rest of the colors more than a true purple. 

I'm cutting 5" squares so that I can throw in random squares from charm packs that fit the color scheme. So far I have 33 cut from pieces that were big enough from my scrap bins. So, 10% cut? Ew, let's not think of it like that! Hopefully cutting into the yardage tonight will go quick!

Plus I just put my Banksia top fabrics in the dryer so that when I get home from my interview I'll be able to iron them and cut out the pattern pieces! Happy Wednesday!

*Linked up with WIP Wednesday :)

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Swaps and Birthday-palooza

I was floored by my For the Love of Solids package. Susan didn't post any sneak pictures in the photo pool, so I had never seen a bit of what I opened.

Susan wrote me a very touching note as well; she mentions that she looked through my blog and Flickr to find designs that I'd love, despite her own trepidations at some of the pieces. It totally shows, and I totally love it all!

I also got buttons and sewing machine needles; I plan to use some of the buttons for this shirt pattern, which came in the mail the same day! The colors of the triangle mini are true in this picture as compared to the one above, and you can see Susan's beautiful quilting

And this is the back of the runner! Or the front? Because seriously, just as beautiful, and I love green just as much. Although it's more of a kelly picture-taking skills were clearly very off that day.

Susan, if you happen to read this, I just wanted to say another thank-you. I greatly appreciate you putting together such a beautiful package in spite of the great personal tragedy that you mentioned. I was very touched.

Since it was my birthday, I picked up a few fun things! :) I got this rayon challis and this netted knit to make some Banksia shirts. One of my favorite things already in this pattern is that Megan Nielsen includes additional ways you can make the shirt. [Side note: do you guys care about hearing about my clothing-making or should I stick with quilting?]

One yard cuts of the only Flea Market Fancy print that I really like. The colors are more muted than I thought they would be, but otherwise I'm pretty pleased.

A big purchase! From the top down: Outfoxed, Washi, Washi, Kitchy Kitchen, Metro Living, Children at Play, Heirloom, Heirloom, Outfoxed, California Girl, Farm Fresh, Farm Fresh.

I really tried to fill some voids in my stash with this purchase, and I'm very pleased with the colors they really are in person!

Tomorrow I'll show you the start of a new project with some of these new additions :)

Monday, March 19, 2012

When Scraps Attack; Also The One with Dead Nerve Endings

I sent that one out to my For the Love of Solids partner. So clearly I needed one for myself!

My original idea involved surrounding the cross stitch with some of my favorite fabrics.

So I combined that idea with Rachel's Scrap Attack celebration going on right now. That all led to 104 different scraps measuring at 1" finished squares, scraps of gray solid for borders, and scrap pieces of binding. Even the Aida that I cross stitched on is a scrap!

I did extremely minimal quilting, just an outline just inside of the gray border, and then an outline around the cross stitch square. I really did not want to take away from the squares at all, and they're too tiny to do too much quilting, but now the mini is more, um, floopy [I make up my own words now] than I generally like my minis. I also probably should have ironed it before I took this picture...whoops...

Whoa, hello wonky red piece...embarrassing!

Some absolute favorite fabrics...hippos...Sandi Henderson ginger blossoms...HR fishies...other favorites that aren't pictured include a Kitchen Aid mixer from an HR print and a Holiday Happy Santa gnome!

 I immediately hung it in my little fabric/quilting shrine corner. [Fab triangle mini is from the Love of Solids swap eee!]

The only thing I'm not too happy about [besides the floopyness] is that I don't really like my binding choices. But since I was working with scraps I did the best I could with what I had. 

Should you care to make one of these for yourself, you can get the pattern on Etsy or Craftsy :)

How in the world does this relate to dead nerve endings, you ask? I burned my fingers A LOT when ironing seams on these 1" squares [but it was totally worth it, the majority of them matched up yay!]. And then by the end of this project I didn't feel the iron heat nearly as much. Quilting-related hazard? Where can I collect my hazard pay?

Linked up with Sew Modern Monday at Canoe Ridge Creations, Fabric Tuesday at Quilt Story, Manic Monday at SewHappyGeek, and sharing this little guy in the Scrap Attack over at Stitched in Color!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

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

Got a waffle iron for my birthday. We love waffles around here.

Turns out it's difficult to take a picture while on an elliptical. Stephen and I have a workout competition going and the winner gets a present [ps, I'm going to win].

We're a little unconventional, so we went together to look at some rings so that Stephen can make an informed decision. I have tiny hands, so my dream hand-engraved ring [on the right] was too bulky for my hands.

Huge replica of the Juliette Gordon Lowe house in Savannah, GA. The birthplace of Girl Scouts. It opens up and is an exact replica of the inside too!

Prom dress shopping with my little sister. Where I got asked in one store if I was shopping for prom too, and asked if I was her mother in another store. Sigh.

I love Scrabble! It was neck and neck for a bit, but I won :)

Friday, March 16, 2012

Tag, you're it!

I've been tagged! It kind of makes me want to play flashlight tag. Oh, or I have my Girl Scout troop play tag often because it gets out a lot of their energy and I enjoy coming up with crazy rules for how to be untagged, etc.

Cherie tagged me. We're about the same age, and we chat via email a lot, so that's fun! Yay for the Interwebz!

The rules for this are as follows:

-You must post the rules.
-Answer the 11 questions that the tagger posted for you and then create 11 questions to ask the people you've tagged. [Must put my thinking cap on...]
-Tag 11 people and link them in your post [I'm a rebel without a cause, so I'll just do 3]
-Let them know you have tagged them.

1. What is the last thing you watched on TV? There is a FRIENDS marathon on Nick at Nite all week long, so I've been watching that. Despite that I own all the seasons on DVD. That show never gets old to me, as as you see in my sidebar, I like to watch it while I sew!
2. Without looking, guess what time it is. 6:42 pm
3. Now look at the clock. What is the actual time? Oh hey, I was close! It's actually 6:34 pm. Maybe I could be a carnie?
4. With the exception of the computer, what can you hear? My AC just turned on - it's already in the 80's here in Florida and my apartment has absolutely terrible air circulation. And my roommate is playing a computer game, so I occasionally hear voices coming from his room.
5. When did you last step outside? What were you doing? I went outside about an hour ago to check the mail - I'm expecting a shirt pattern and lots of fabric! Sadly, no mail. I have to say that it stinks to walk down 3 flights of stairs for nothing.
6. Can you remember your dream from last night...What happened? Not even a clue what I dreamed about. I stayed up until about 5 am reading Jodi Picoult's newest book, Lone Wolf. She's my favorite author and I own 17 of her 19 books. If you're looking for something thought-provoking to read, definitely check her out. I can recommend which books to start with so you get best sucked into her web haha.
7. Can you close your eyes and raise your eyebrows? I'm glad I was alone because I felt pretty silly trying that out, but yes I can.
8. When did you last laugh? Uhh. Most likely while reading something online today, but I've been by myself all day so I'm not exactly sure.
9. What will you be up to this weekend? It's St. Patrick's Day! Probably drinking some green beer, avoiding Shepard's Pie like it's the plague, and doing some sewing.
10. What is on the walls of the room you are in? There is a large picture from our 2nd Hawaii trip framed behind out couch, but that's it. 

Where the North Shore meets the West Shore, so there are always waves!

11. Seen anything weird lately? Yes! Actually. This little doodad in the picture below is encasing a bicycle. I'm so glad I was on a slow road so that I could quickly snap a picture while driving past. My little sister said he's very popular in our town, and there's a whole FB page devoted to photos of sightings. 

I tag: Jennifer over at Knotted Thread, Jessica at Quilty Habit, and Jessica at Make Me Crafty

Ok ladies, your questions are:

1. What is your favorite hobby outside of sewing?
2. If you could only read one author for the rest of your life, who would it be?
3. Do you like putting together puzzles?
4. Where do you normally sit when you're blogging/reading blogs?
5. Is your car normally clean inside?
6. What's the age you think you have to stop wearing electric blue nail polish?
7. If someone took away your sewing  machine do you think you'd keep up with the hobby by hand-sewing, or would you just give it all up?
8. Did you buy Girl Scout cookies this year?
9. What would you normally bring to a potluck?
10. Did you ever own one of those shirts that was teensy tiny and crinkly and then it stretched to the right size?
11. Do you wear shoes while you're inside?

[It was fun making those up, by the way!] Have fun :)
And my weekend got hijacked, so all sewing is moved to Monday while I help my little sister find a prom dress!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Happy Thursday!

Cutting out 104 squares that will finish at just an inch?

Not my most favorite activity, but something that must be done for the finish that I plan to share tomorrow!

And now, to give my wrist a break from the rotary cutter, it's off to the gym to make the rest of my body work :)