Sunday, March 31, 2013

The room that house tours forgot...

So I did the updated house tour a little while ago, but forgot to include this little gem - the sunroom! It doesn't get much use yet, but I'm hoping this spring I will be able to give it a little more attention. I actually put in a couple little upgrades a few days ago.

Here is how it looked before, which is pretty much nothing. Please excuse the plants that are trying to die.

I love the view. It makes me forget that I live in a city. You can't see it here, but there is a little creek to the left of those windows.

Here is the only thing I bought for the room - and the ONLY piece of furniture I've ever bought new! (except for mattresses - that's gross) It's a loveseat from Ikea.

So I was tired of the concrete floors (those things are COLD!!!) so I went to Homegoods and found a rug on clearance, which I got an additional discount on because it had some weird spots on it from shipping. I don't care so much, it's practically outside.

I also got a cute little accent table I can use for drinks, etc. I'd like to make a pouf or ottoman too, eventually.

Much warmer, and ready for spring!

Friday, March 29, 2013

Popping the (zipper) Cherry

Believe it or not, after almost 10 years of sewing, I have never sewn a zipper. They scare me. Also, my old machine didn't have a zipper foot. And was too old for me to put forth the effort of finding one. I've made a few bags before, but all of the drawstring persuasion.

Well, while I was at my LQS for my latest class, I decided I needed to grow a pair and just do it. I've been oogling Noodlehead's Open Wide Pouches forever (in my head I call them Noodlepouches, lol), so while I was there I picked up some more Luxe in Bloom, some interfacing, and the dreaded zipper.

And I went for it.

I used a heavier interfacing than Anna uses in her tutorial, because I like my bags to have a little body. It was also my first time using interfacing, and I think I'm hooked. The bag got a little crunched when I was turning it right side out, but I think that will press out fine.

The light is coming through the inside of the bag, making it look much pinker than in real life!

I used the spool of Aurifil from Sunshine Daydream to put it together and to topstitch around the outside of the opening, and it matches perfectly!

I boxed the corners and everything. I'm such a professional. (i wish!)

I'm using it to store my perle cotton from my new handwork project! I'm so stoked to make a few more of these!!

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Happy Handwork

Thanks so much for all the feedback about my unhappy quilting. I'm really liking the idea of leaving those two blocks in there as is and using a matching thread for the background for the rest. Ryan Gosling agrees.

Ok, anyways... Last week I took a class at my LQS called Big Stitch quilting. I've seen so much of this stitching, but I've been doing traditional quilting for so many years that I was unsure of how to do stitches like this. I've had teeeny tiiiny quilting stitches ingrained into my head, so I knew I might need some guidance.

Please ignore the bright red basting stitches!

I'm still trying to decide what I'm going to do with my class sample, but I'm pretty sure it's going to be a wall hanging. Eventually. It is handwork, after all...

Monday, March 25, 2013

Live and Learn?

Remember the Skill Builder BOM that I've been working on? Well, this BOM is utilizing a quilt as you go method (which is new to me - yay!) and I quilted the January blocks a few days ago.

I got this super pretty spool of variegated purple Aurifil, thinking that the purple would blend with all the different purple fabrics, and complement the aquas nicely.

Well, it did, but I am not a fan of how it looks on the white background. I can't decide if I should live with it, take it out, or re-do these blocks altogether.

What do you think? Maybe part of my problem is that I'm not a big fan of stippling? Don't be fooled by these pictures, it looks even worse in real life...

Friday, March 22, 2013

Quilt Factory.... except not really.

*If you're visiting from Finish it Up Friday, this post is more about me finishing with being lazy than finishing an actual project. If you want a REAL finish, check this out, which didn't make it under the wire for last week's link up!

I was off for a few days and I got trucking with Honey Honey. Last time I checked in, I had cut all the fabric for the quilt. At once.

Yeah. I had to put this one aside for a day or two after that. But then I got excited again. :-)

I'm re-instituting the plate method for this one. It makes it really easy to sort things out, especially when working on a bunch of blocks at once.

Chain piecing like a boss. Be jealous. (of all the little ear trimming... not so much...)

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Cutting party!

I started more Honey Honey blocks the other day, and decided to cut fabric for the whole quilt.

All at once.

Needless to say, no blocks got put together that day.

These little squares sure are pretty though!

Monday, March 18, 2013

Close Call

I took this bobbin out of the machine yesterday, after quilting the Tears wall quilt.

Cutting it close much? Lol I got lucky on that one!

Sunday, March 17, 2013

A Pressing Issue

Last month I bought a Hoosier cabinet base to convert into a pressing table. The store I got it from "forgot" to deliver it, though, so I only got it this week. It also came with a nice fresh scratch in the door, so I got a little discount to go with it.

I just used Elizabeth's tutorial to convert it - I got some plywood cut to size and wrapped it in batting and home dec fabric. It turned out great, and I've already used it! It's a great size, too! The top is much wider than an ironing board, so I can press fat quarters without moving them, and I can spray best press onto fabric without it getting everywhere. Score.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Big Finish

You might remember this teaser from what seems like a looooong time ago. I started this wall quilt several months ago, and i actually finished the top quite a while ago. I wanted to have it finished before sharing it, because its pretty meaningful. It was a cathartic exercise for me, and it was important for me to get it finished, especially this week.

It's called Tears, and its about grief, and the spectrum of emotions that go with it. I made the blue strips in varying colors and widths, some are deep and dark, and some are bright. I free motion quilted it with trails of tears of various scale. I also put a little sliver of hope into the binding.

I hate that orange wall. Maybe one day I'll change it.

Friday, March 15, 2013


I finished binding my xplusalong, Sunshine Daydream! I'm so psyched about this quilt, it's so bright and sunshiny, just in time for spring!

I bound it in Kona Azure, which is a nice contrast, and as the only solid in the quilt, it gives your eyes a rest as well. The backing is an old sheet - my favorite sheet set that I can't use anymore since I went from a double to queen bed when I bought the house. So now I get to have it in a quilt forever. Booyah.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Ladies' weekend!

This past weekend my sisters and I checked out of real life and went to northern Virginia for the weekend. We had a fun weekend of shopping, eating out, and sitting in NoVa traffic.

The hotel we stayed in was swankypants :-)

I also talked them into letting me go to a quilt store. It was payback for me having to sit in the car for an hour and a half while they were in a teacher store, lol.

I got some low volume neutrals, and some stash builders. I also got some more Best Press, this time in a citrus scent. I also got a random spool of aurifil in my new fave color, a peachy coral. I'm going to have to do a whole quilt with that color...

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Sometimes my blog REALLY earns its name...

I went to do the March blocks of the Sisters Ten BOM last night (you can catch up on January and February too, if you want!). Chaos ensued.

Seriously, it was a comedy of errors.

I cut out all my pieces. So far, so good.

Oh wait, I realized I had cut some of them for 9" blocks instead of 12" blocks. Dangit. Recut.

On to chain piecing HSTs. Nothing new here, I've done this a gazillion times.

But this time my 1/4" foot decided to eat some of my corners. The top layer of fabric was catching on part of the foot. Annoying, but I'll trim these guys up anyway, so no big deal.

Oh crap. I pieced all of the HSTs together WRONG sides together. Rookie mistake - this one actually pissed me off. I must really be on auto pilot!

Commence the ripping and re-piecing.

Oh wait, then I noticed I somehow pieced the selvedge of one print into a block. I have NO idea how I missed this one.

Laying out the block before final piecing - yeah, these colors are not quite right. Re-cutting AGAIN.

Much better. Now lets see if I can put these kids together without incident.

Apparently not. See that upper left corner? More ripping.

Sigh of relief. They're both done, and somehow I didn't tear my hair out or throw anything. Somehow.

Next time I promise I'll pay better attention. Maybe.