Saturday, July 28, 2007

The Diet is Over!

So when I found some sewing time after the Harry Potter Mania, my first project was a set of throw pillow covers for an undisclosed recipient. I tried to make them coordinated without being matchy-matchy. But they really just look pretty random - maybe they can be in different rooms?? I hope the recipient likes them. I thought she said no pink or purple, now I'm realizing that she said no pink or orange!! And that one pillow prominently features orange - bleh. I really hope she doesn't hate it. Making things to other peoples tastes is so hard!


With throw pillows completed I finally put the border on my red work extravaganza. I auditioned tons of different borders and this one just "worked" somehow. The darker burgundy color does give the top kind of a different feel, but I feel like it quiets the top down, while making it "pop" at the same time. And it introduces a bit of an accent color. After making my mom look at a zillion different choices I got her to agree that this one works, so I went with it.


Sorry, I wish I had a different background to photograph it against since it kind of blends into this floor. Actually, here's a slightly better view, along with one of my flip flops and Pip the guinea pig:


Anyway, with the move of this project onto the "finished top" list, I am officially ending my "no new projects" diet. Woo-hoo! Since starting the diet I have finished at least six tops, so it has been fruitful. I think I'm going to start something new today (Christmas present for my little brother) but I'm not starting more than two new projects until something else either becomes a finished top or one of the things I'm quilting becomes a finished quilt!

One last thing - okay so I upload my pictures on a mac and they look TERRIBLE on my PC at work - but I do have a terribly ancient monitor at work. So question to you PC users out there - do you look at my blog and find yourself thinking, "Why does she post such low quality super dark photos?" Or do they look OK to you? I'm hoping the problem is just with the terribly old monitor, but if it's not then I'll have to make an adjustment somewhere.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Spoiler Free Zone

Phew - finished Harry Potter about fifteen minutes past midnight last night.

Of course this blog, and anything else having to do with me, is most certainly a SPOILER FREE zone. As far as I am concerned, that should go without saying. No one should speak about the book publicly at all for at least a month. Don't even take the chance that you could ruin it for someone. Don't discuss it with anyone until after you point your wand (er....finger) at them and say demandingly, "WHAT PAGE ARE YOU ON???" Then you may carefully discuss anything that came before that page, or if they've finished you can speak freely, but make sure that no one is within earshot who might still be reading...

Monday, July 23, 2007


Ok so my official last day at work is in four weeks. I spent an action packed weekend in Chicago visiting my brother and some very good friends, and also trying to decide if I can see myself living there since there's a very good chance I'm headed in that direction. Combine that with the release of Harry Potter and this is just to stay that after these messages I'll be right back. I actually have a small list of sewing that I'm itching to do, but can't quite bring myself to put the book down long enough. Sad but true. And then there's this whole thing where they actually expect me to go to work for eight hours when there's Harry Potter to be read and sewing to be done. Imagine!

Anyway, this weekend in Chicago I dreamed about kayaking under State Street (next trip, maybe...)


I attended the World's Largest Block Party at Old St. Pats


And I met Mr. Freddy Noodles, the cat my brother is staying with. I took this picture to show my mother that cats the world over love her quilts:


Okay, page 590, I should be done any minute now...

Friday, July 20, 2007

More Stars

Three recent receives in the Stars Around the World block exchange. This is partly to test different photo hosting sites as I'm trying to find one that looks just as good on PCs as on my mac. More to come soon......!


Monday, July 16, 2007


Just a quick note to say "hi" to everyone who has been stopping by and commenting! If you have an e-mail address attached to your comment I will always try to reply by e-mail. If you purposely choose not to use your e-mail I respect that. Just know that I read and appreciate your comments.

However - if you use blogger you may be like me and just didn't realize that you have to turn on your e-mail address in your account in order to allow other users to reply to your comments by e-mail. Just log in to blogger, go to the "edit profile" page and click the bit that says "show my e-mail address."

Saturday, July 14, 2007


Hello everyone. Whew still not much sewing going on in my world because my life is minor (very minor) turmoil and I can't seem to get myself to focus on anything much. I've pretty much decided to leave my job. I plan to give notice on Monday, although depending on how they react it will be open-ended notice and I'll probably be there for more than two more weeks. The catch of course is that I don't know where I go from here. I just know I need to be done with this, and I'm taking the prerogative of being 25 and more carefree than I will ever be again to just step out in faith and see what happens.

Anyway, for the most part my sewing time has been spent hand quilting the ginormous Trip Around the World or machine quilting this:


Yes, you read that right, machine quilting - my first attempt. I am using polar fleece as a combined backing/batting meaning that I don't have to worry about batting separating and could probably get away with really minimal quilting, but I want to do some for the sake of strengthening the top. And since my new-to-me (it's 17 years old) machine has a walking foot I decided to give it a go. Since I'm not too familiar with the whole walking foot thing, I'm just making it up as I go along. The stitch length is really erratic, but I think I might just be pulling the quilt to much.

The good news is, I don't care at all how the quilting LOOKS on this, and in fact poor quilting will fit in better with the rest of the quilt than good quilting would. The top was sewn almost entirely from untrimmed scraps pulled fairly randomly from the scrap box. The only bit I cut is the black. When some of the seams were close to pulling out because of fraying fabric I reinforced them by whip stitching in embroidery floss - very visible. When the top didn't lay flat - because it did not come CLOSE to laying flat, I took darts and used more embroidery floss. I basically broke every quilt rule in the book, but it's been super fun and makes me love it even more!

Monday, July 9, 2007

Family Reunion

Not tons of sewing progress, but I did manage to get the border on this:



The gorgeous applique blocks are, alas, not my handy work. My fabulous quilting aunt gave them to me two or three at a time for various special occasions over several years, until I had them all. She did the hard part; the rest is up to me! I was stumped on the border for a long time, but I like what I ended up with. Now I just have to wait until I get around to quilting it one of these years...

We had our family reunion over the weekend, and the hands quilt we were working on at quilt camp is finished and was given to its owner:


I am really happy with the end product. Mom and Aunt M. did the vast majority of the applique and Aunt M. assembled and quilted - my contribution was a measly four applique blocks, and lots of strong design opinions! Since I "won" most of the design "discussions" maybe it's no wonder that I like the end product so much.

Sunday, July 1, 2007

While the Computer was Gone...

I pulled out this UFO - small assortment of random sized embroidered blocks with nature themes. Like so many things I was originally going to do so much more of these. And I like to embroider, so it could still theoretically happen that I would make more, but I just have this feeling that it's never going to and I would rather just do something with these.


But what to do with them?? The fact of the different sizes complicates things, as does the fact that there are really so few blocks.

Fast forward a week, and this is what I came up with:



I feel as though I really should have done one more block for the bottom right hand corner and it would be a lot more balanced, but it is what it is. It's roughly 38" square-ish. I like it. It was fun to mix the colors and see the effects, and four patches are such fun easy sewing.

Now - what to do for a border?? I could do no border, but I feel like it needs something. In fact, I feel like it needs to be calmed down a little. Any thoughts? I thought about a small red inner border with a checkerboard outer border. I thought about a plain red border or a plain write border. I thought a small inner border in a bright green with a red outer border. But I'm up for whatever - I just have to make up my mind.

While I'm thinking about that, I hopefully will get this borer sewn on:


And here's this, officially a finished top:


I'm glad to finally be making some progress on getting tops finished - I'm actually going to let myself start something soon-ish. Also, I've been playing around with my new machine, which has a walking foot if I can ever figure it out, so that might help me get some tops finished into quilts. But I'm still thinking I might need to send some out, which means finding someone to send them out to.

Someday I will not have as much time on my hands as I do now. But for now I do.

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