August already?

Well, ok…not quite August. I genuinely cannot believe July is almost over, though! It’s been almost a month since I posted my little pouch tutorial. Here’s what I’ve been up to in the mean time:

Work. Lots of work.

Oh! Also important and new:

Mad Men season 4 premiered on Sunday! I’ve started a tradition with Lara from Lara and the Reel Boy — we’re going to watch together every Monday. Do you watch Mad Men? If not, you should. My friend Kathryn bought season one for my birthday last November, and I’ve been catching up frantically ever since. It has fantastic story lines, and even better clothes! Is it geeky to admit that part of the reason I love it is due purely to the styling of that era? I’m gonna go with no, and also show you a little something I was inspired to create thanks to Joan Holloway et al

I refer to this formally as the Pond Pillow…


But secretly, in my head (and now in writing on my blog, so I suppose it’s not-so-secret) I refer to that lovely grey quilter’s linen as Sterling Cooper grey. Doesn’t it remind you of Don’s suits? Or the in-office couches? I’m planning on buying more ASAP!


And I love this macro shot. Such lovely colors!

Moving on from my Mad Men obsession, my older sister Whitney and my mom both had birthdays this month, July 13 and 14 respectively. I asked them to choose a sewing pattern they liked, and fabric for me to use. They chose Amy Butler’s Sophia bag pattern, and some Anna Maria Horner prints. Here’s what I’ve finished so far:

…and it has bright yellow lining! This bag is Whitney’s. My mom’s will be blues and greens.

The Sophia bag is definitely more time-consuming than I bargained for — a LOT of cutting and ironing and basting and sewing in zippers and lining and hand stitching and blood and sweat goes into these babies. I think I spent about 10-15 hours on Whitney’s. I’ve cut out all the pieces for my mom’s, and I’ve bonded all the interfacing — just need to get sewing!

Yesterday, one of my friends left town to move to South Korea (Lance, if you are reading this, I miss you already!). He had an amazing sewing that he’d been asking me about for a year or so, and we’d talked about how to get it running again, but with both of us being so busy we never got together with the sewing machine to see if we could clean it up and “Make it work!” (yes, that was a Tim Gunn quote). Well, Tripp went to see Lance one last time yesterday, before he left.. and brought me back a little surprise!

Isn’t it lovely? I have no idea how old it is, but it was made by the Jones Sewing Machine Company who were (are?) based outside of Manchester, England. Tripp said “Lance wanted me to give you this — and I thought, even if it doesn’t work, we can clean it up and display it when we move!” (don’t you love him already?). I heartily agreed with that sentiment, and I am VERY excited that I was chosen as the lucky recipient of such a gorgeous machine. Oh, in case you were wondering — it *does* work! Between amazing and giving friends and such a fantastic boyfriend, I am one lucky lady!

Lastly, I got 6 packages in the mail today (the postman probably thinks I’m crazy). I’ve been looking for dishes since we moved here, looking everywhere I can think of, and finally it hit me like a ton of bricks: The reason I didn’t like any of the dishes I saw was because they were all way too complicated. Floral patterns, stripes, polka dots, square dishes — I tend to like much more simple, classic designs. While cruising Amazon, I rediscovered Fiesta ware, which both my grandma and mom use. Hello, bright colors, strong ceramic, and durability? What’s not to love?

Since I love color, I bought a variety.

Look how pretty my dishwasher is now! (Such a weird sentence, I know, but anything that can make me happy to do dishes is ok in my book).

I’m still awaiting the arrival of shamrock (a grassy green) and cobalt blue sets. I think this dishware will provide LOTS of inspiration for color combinations in quilts and the like, which makes me extra happy!

Alright, it’s way past my bedtime. I’m off!
-K

Progress!

Today, I took a break from Ezra’s quilt to work on another that’s been in progress since June. Well, that’s when I bought the fabric, anyway…I wanted to use Heather Ross’ Mendocino line in a way that would show off the fabric but also be bright and fun. It was originally supposed to be a bento box quilt, but I’ve discovered the handkerchief style and now I can’t decide!

Which layout do you prefer?

Bento Box:
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Handkerchief:
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Let me know in the comments!

-K

Inspiration in the craziest places

Yesterday while I was in the shower, washing my hair, I looked over at my little wire rack that holds shampoo/conditioner/facewash and I saw
showerspiration

…but what I saw in my mind’s eye looked more like this:

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Then, I was looking at my betta, Farrokh Clark AndreRobin Arshavin Van Persie (yes, that’s his name), and I saw even more inspiration
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…my mind perceived all that color as:
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…I just can’t stop seeing quilts in everything! Have you ever been inspired by something that took you completely by surprise?

-K

Raku

Today I had a Raku* moment in Joann fabrics.

Usually I don’t wander into fabric stores. I’ve had bad luck with certain chains carrying groan-inducing fabrics (like those my boyfriend, Tripp, chose for a quilt I have yet to make him). You know the ones. Covered in garish prints, not a single designer bolt in sight.

I know, I know. I sound like a freaking snob. It’s just that I don’t really want to use fabrics that don’t meet my cute (kawaii) standard. I’m super picky. Not to mention that I do most (all) of my fabric shopping online, where I know folks have heard of Heather Ross and Amy Butler and their ilk.

Anywho, I was wandering amongst the bolts, thinking about purchasing some muslin or a plain white cotton for background fabric when I was met with a beautiful sight:

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Alexander Henry!

Needless to say, I bought some. Half a yard of the Juicy Lemons and just under a yard of the Apples&Pears — it was technically a remnant, so I got it for half price! Wahoo!

Also, I’m actually making progress on my Mendocino quilt. First, a pillow top I made to practice my piecing and quilting. I have an inkling I’ll look at this later with a fond “I can’t believe I thought that was decent looking” feeling.

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Here are the blocks I’ve been working on…

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I’ve promised myself I’d make a block a day. As you can see, I have 3 done so far, but I have all the other blocks planned out so I’ve only got to stitch them together and I’ll be set. Check out this lovely stack just waiting to be sewn!
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-K

*Raku is Japanese term used in ceramics — it means something along the lines of “pleasure” and “enjoyment”. Today’s word is brought to you by my college ceramics professor.