Not perfect, but..

I’ve been doing a lot (a LOT) of hand piecing while saving up for a proper sewing machine. The list is as follows

1)The beginnings of a Little Folks voile pillow, which will be completed when I receive my new machine (it shipped today!). These are 1″ hexies:

2) a Little Folks hexagon quilt, which will likely reside in my living room, draped over the couch so it can be appreciated regularly (2″ hexies):

3) an Echino pillow, to match another project (more 1″ hexies)…

4) a patchwork quilt! The plan is for it to be queen sized. It’s made of 7″ squares, and it’s about 15%-20% done so far, entirely sewn by hand. It’s a mixture of Anna Maria Horner’s Good Folks, Etsuko Furuya’s Echino line, a bit of Heather Ross’ Far Far Away I (and who knows, maybe I’ll throw a bit of FFA2 in there, as well); also in the mix are lots of Kona solids (Raisin, Pomegranate, Daffodil, and Candy Green, to name a few)

I’m interrupting this post to point out how beautiful Austin can be:

…and lastly, two actual finished projects. A complete, albeit extremely imperfect, potholder (inspired, of course, by Ashley from FilmintheFridge, though hers are considerably neater):

…and a Little Folks fabric rosette, sewn to a bobby pin so that I can 1) feel a bit retro and 2) force everyone around me to appreciate Little Folks, and bring a bit more fabric appreciation into the world :)

I realized last week in a few conversations with coworkers that I *never* discuss sewing at work. It doesn’t really relate at all to what I do, and I work mostly with men (not that men don’t sew, but these men don’t). I had a few people ask me recently “so what are your hobbies?” and they seemed genuinely surprised when I told them I spend each weekend sewing. It made me laugh a bit, because most people (myself included, before a year or two ago) seem completely unaware of the modern quilting movement. I also noticed that I address the issue in a self-deprecating way, for some reason — my response to the hobby question is usually something along the lines of “I like to sew and quilt…yes, I’m an old woman stuck in a 24-year-old’s body, apparently, haha” which I really need to stop doing. I’m proud of myself for learning how to create useful objects that could quite possibly become treasured items. What’s wrong with making something that is both useful and beautiful? Nothing at all! That’s my new goal: to address those who ask in an informative, non-self-deprecating way.

Do you ever find yourself dismissing sewing and quilting, even though you love it?
-K

Getting back in the groove

So I started my new job March 1, I love it. I can’t really talk much more about it, but I work with awesome people. Sooo much better than my previous job, in that I’m actually treated with respect. Weird how much of a difference a bit of respect can make.

I’ve made some recent purchases to start sewing again. Now that I’m working full time I have little time to sew, but lots of money to burn. Of course anyone who works full time feels my pain. I definitely make the most of those weekends!

Ashley over at Film in the Fridge had a giveaway for her two year blogoversary. I commented (there were literally THOUSANDS of comments!) and I was actually one of the lucky winners! I couldn’t believe it! If you’re ever looking for quilting inspiration, definitely check out Ashley’s site. Everything she makes is droolworthy. All of it is gorgeous, great use of color, and very modern meets traditional. What’s not to love? Anyway, here’s what I won:

A half yard bundle of Laurie Wisbrun’s Donkeys and Wellie’s line from Spoonflower! Woohoo!

Looking at that fabric got me thinking about all the fabrics I’ve been meaning to buy. So I went on a bit of a spree…*guilty face*

A FQ bundle of Anna Maria Horner’s Little Folks Pastry Line, aka Dobby Dots (8 FQs, purchased from Fabricpalooza):

A FQ bundle of Anna Maria Horner’s Little Folks Line (29 FQs, also from Fabricpalooza):

Laurie Wisbrun’s newest line, Tufted Tweets (12 FQs, purchased from Sew Fresh Fabrics):

Joel Dewberry’s Modern Meadow in the Pond Palette (16 FQs, purchased from Hawthorne Threads):

Joel Dewberry’s entire line, Deer Valley, in FQs (45 FQs total, from Hawthorne Threads) (the photo below is just *one* colorway!):

(photo from http://justdandy.typepad.com/)

So yeah…quite an investment. I’m currently hand-piecing a queen size quilt for me and Tripp’s bed. I’m buying (another, more expensive) sewing machine in two weeks, one that can handle (finally!) quilting Ezra’s quilt. I think I can, I think I can…that thing is going to be a MAJOR achievement. Soon!

xoxo

K

Goals of all sorts

I am one of those people who’s always got ideas ideas ideas floating about my noggin. Yesterday, for example, I was looking for oil for my sewing machine and walked out with new fabric. Oops! I am finally beginning to realize that without a list of things I need I am nearly hopeless, unless I’ve got hours to wander about and remember everything.

In that spirit, I’ve decided to make a list of quilting and sewing techniques I’d like to try/various things I’d like to make.

(from comfortstitching)
1. Hexagons. They’re so cute, and everyone is using them lately. I’m liking them as decoration on simple items like moleskines, or just as an accent to a quilt, like Ashley at Film in the Fridge has done.

2. Circles. They seem like they’d be difficult to sew, but they look so nice!
Image from A Commonplace Life
(from A Commonplace Life)

3. Wonky log cabin style blocks. All the excess trimmed fabric can be made into hexagons! (Can you tell I despair over throwing away any scrap, no matter how small? And that I love hexagons?)

(for sale here)

4. I have a sudden urge to make a potholder today. I might just do that right now!

(for sale here)

There are many more goals of mine with quilting, but I’ll stick to these for now. Don’t want to get too ahead of myself!

-K

The chaos!

Oy vey! I haven’t posted in almost two months, due to various travel (to Nathan and Jennifer’s lovely wedding) and a furiously packed work schedule…and now Tripp and I are in the midst of packing for…our move to Austin! We decided to move about a month ago, and yesterday was my last day at work. So now we’ve just got to get boxes filled and our truck packed up. We leave Saturday.

I have only sewn one square for my log cabin/bento box quilt:

first quilt block

It was inspired by Ashley’s Modified Bento Box quilt over at Film in the Fridge…but the problem is, it’s so beautiful that I don’t really want to cut it down to quarters. I think I’ll leave it whole and keep my second quilt top simple. Anyway, I do have all the pieces cut, so it’s just a matter of breaking out my sewing machine and having a free day, which should be fairly easy early next week, after we’re all moved in/unpacked.

Lately I’ve begun a new adventure — luckily it also involves stitches, but it’s more portable.
I found another source of inspiration at Tickled Pink Knits! I busted out my yarn collection (which I all too often ignore) and have begun to knit a cowl for myself out of a lovely (and ridiculously soft) brown bamboo yarn.
IMG_4424

Hopefully it turns out well — I do hate ripping out stitches, especially when they are so hard-earned as they are in knitting!

IMG_4426

So far, so good!

-K

Mendocino happiness + a local treasure

Mendocino arrived on Saturday, Tripp brought it to work when he picked me up — I was really that excited! I checked the mail box every day after ordering it, hoping that by some miracle it would get here the next day…not likely with the USPS, but hey, a girl can hope ;) (I didn’t have to wait too long –it got here in just 3 days! Yay, Pickled Pear Lane!)

Here it is in all it’s double-gauzy glory. I am actually really surprised at how incredibly soft it is…I can’t wait to quilt with it!

Super soft double gauze. Mmm.

Super soft double gauze. Mmm.

I am letting Mendocino chill for a while until I find or create a quilt pattern I really love. I am very inspired by everything over at Film in the Fridge, and I especially love what she did with Heather Ross’ Far Far Away collection — it’s so simple and gorgeous. I think the Mendocino line, like Far Far Away, is pretty enough on its own, and I don’t really need an elaborate pattern to dress them up. Seems like a charm quilt is in order!

Last night I was itching to sew but I don’t have my walking foot yet, so I decided to tackle a little project from Made by Rae — the Buttercup bag. As capable as I generally am at sewing, bags seem to be my downfall. Am I just bad at following patterns? Nah, I just get ahead of myself too often and want to alter things on a pattern I am unfamiliar with. I tried to make the pattern 1″ bigger all ’round, and ended up with a miserable failure…Oops!

Purse "finished" -- sorta

Purse "finished" -- sorta

I did perfect my pleats, though:

Sewing pleats -- not as difficult as imagined!

Sewing pleats -- not as difficult as imagined!

Today I finally got a chance to head over to The Rabbit’s Lair, which I’ve heard about from several local quilters who’ve come into my coffee shop lately. It was like I was dreaming! All these beautiful fabrics in person, that I could actually touch and look over carefully. It was magical. Maybe next time I won’t be so entranced (and so rushed!) and I’ll have a chance to take a few photos (if they’ll allow it — the lady that was there was really sweet, though, so I can’t imagine anyone saying no). Anyway, I picked up an Aviary by 3 Sisters Charm Pack. It’s gorgeous. Here be my spoils:

Aviary Collection.

Aviary Collection.

Pinked edges = no raveling = happy me.

Pinked edges = no raveling = happy me.

I also ordered 4 yards of Kona Cotton from Pink Chalk Fabrics — two yards each of Cyan (backing for my future Mendocino quilt) and plain ol’ white, which I have a feeling will become sashing.

Kona Cotton by Robert Kaufman in Cyan

Kona Cotton by Robert Kaufman in Cyan

Kona Cotton by Robert Kaufman in White

Kona Cotton by Robert Kaufman in White

So excited to figure out a pattern for this Aviary Charm Pack! Time for some research!

xoxo

K

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