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

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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

Yo yo yo!

Guess what I made today?

Hint:
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More after the move!

-K

Needle Roll

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It’s finished!

I wanted to make a mini quilt (it’s about 11×18) to practice the quilting and binding steps before I quilt/bind Ezra’s quilt. It took me a few hours to sew on the binding, but I think it’ll be much easier the second time around. It turned out lovely, too. I think Tripp was really impressed! A few more photos:
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I made it into a needle roll for all the lovely bamboo needles Tripp got me for Christmas last year. He’s amazing.

Speaking of Tripp being amazing, he got a job today! We moved to Austin a month or so ago with hopes that he’d get hired at an entertainment company, and today they offered him the job! We are so jazzed! We’re going out to dinner this week to celebrate. Hoorah!

Now on to lunch and then…Ezra’s quilt is calling to me. 🙂

-K

Practice makes…perfect?

Today I (finally!) got my even feed foot in the mail. For my fellow newbies or you non-quilters out there, an even feed foot, aka a walking foot, looks like this:

It’s kind of a huge and awkward version of a normal presser foot.

Every sewing machine has feed dogs, which run underneath the cloth as you work, and they keep the fabric moving away from you as you sew. The walking foot allows you to cover or lower the feed dogs and keeps the layers of quilting moving at the same speed; essentially, it allows you to quilt without the bottom layer becoming shifted during quilting (even though everything should be pinned down well in the first place).

I put off ordering an even feet foot until I was actually ready to finish a quilt, because they usually run about $30 and I didn’t want to buy one until I had a reason to need it. I found a good price on one, and it came in today, so I’ve been practicing. I threw together a doll sized quilt (which will actually serve as a needle roll for my knitting needles and crochet hook) out of the Hello Betty! charm pack I received last week. I have to say, the colors are amazing. Have a looksie:
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I have quilted it but I need to rip out some of the stitches. Stippling is much more difficult than it looks. I stippled for a while but decided straight lines would look better with simple patchwork.

I poured over this tutorial on Oh Fransson! but I don’t think her methods are meshing well with my setup. Oh well, you know what they say. Eventually my stippling, with much practice, will be…a bit better. Ha!

Any stippling tips for a newbie? Leave ’em in the comments!

-K

P.S. I think I’m going to go with the handkerchief corner style for my Land and Sea quilt. My piecing isn’t neat enough to do bento boxes quite yet.

New Block on the Block

Here’s a sneak peek of…
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The first block in Ezra’s quilt! Ezra is 3 months old, he’s my friend Griselda’s first baby, and he’s so cute I want to cuddle him! Unfortunately, I live in Austin and Gris lives in L.A., so she asked me to make him a quilt. She specifically requested reds, browns, and whites to match his baby gear — I threw in a bit of blue because I thought it would offset the darker colors nicely. Here’s the whole block:
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I thought this would be a great time to use the wonky style log cabin blocks. It gives off a relaxed, creative, fun vibe — perfect for a little boy! What do you think?

On Tuesday, I bought some new yarn. It’s a bamboo blend, so it’s not only renewable, it’s also amazingly soft and is a gorgeous olive green.
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Bonus: Odie is super pumped about it!
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Tutorial for the hexagons is coming soon!

-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