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

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Holidays! Gifts! New Sewing Machine!

Well, it’s been quite a while since I last posted…apologies. Hope everyone had a Happy Christmas/Hanukkah, etc. We’ve had a lot going on here in Austin.

I got my new sewing machine in a few days ago, haven’t had much of a chance to fire it up because of the holidays. I had various knitting projects to finish/gifts to stitch. I think she may need to be oiled a bit before I can do anything with her, but so far everything seems to be working fine with her (knock on wood).

Tomorrow is New Year’s Eve, which is my very favorite holiday. Exciting! I don’t have any plans and Tripp will be at work, but I may end up with friends…not too sure.

January 8-10 Tripp and I will be going to NYC! We’re really excited as neither of us have ever had a chance to visit before. We’ll be going to be interviewed for a documentary. I’ll be able to give a bit more info after we return.

I received some awesome gifts for Christmas:

-A pair of red TOMS from Tripp

Also from Tripp, Last Night in Twisted River by John Irving (newest book by my favorite author)

and Mad Men, Season 2! If you are wondering if I’ve already watched all 12 episodes, the answer is yes — in 2 days. This show is insanely addicting. If you have never seen it, I’d highly recommend it. I’m not usually a fan of dramas, but this is an excellent show. Also, period costumes! I am a huge sucker for period costumes/settings.

Lastly, and perhaps most relevant-ly (not sure if that’s a word, but 2009 is almost over and I’m feeling kinda reckless), my dear friend Kathryn got me this:

I can’t wait to try out some of the patterns!

Of course I’ll be back to work on Ezra’s quilt soon. I also recently mastered hand-sewing and even learned to blind-stitch a hem, so if this machine gives me fits like my last one did while quilting, I may be hand sewing his quilt 🙂

More soon!

K

Crocheting & Knitting in the interim

The title says it all. While I’m waiting for my machine, I’m crocheting and knitting a few Christmas gifts.

I made a headband from this pattern by creativeyarn; here is my result:

Tell me what you think in the comments!

-K

Block Party!

Block Party is having a quilt along kick off giveaway! Check it out here and be sure to check out their blog while you’re at it — much inspiration to be had there!

Also, here’s a chance to win a thread catcher over at PoppyPrint. It’s adorable!

THIRDLY (wow, lots of giveaways!) there’s an awesome chance to win a quilt kit and other goodies over at Jaybird Quilts! Go check it out!

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:

showerinspiration

Then, I was looking at my betta, Farrokh Clark AndreRobin Arshavin Van Persie (yes, that’s his name), and I saw even more inspiration
vanpersie

…my mind perceived all that color as:
vpinspiration

…I just can’t stop seeing quilts in everything! Have you ever been inspired by something that took you completely by surprise?

-K