Monday, July 30, 2012


Back in the day, my sister had an Olympic themed swim party one summer.  It was a full blown event.  They made flags and had crazy races in the pool, the whole deal.  Along with that, my mom made them medals.  And really, when I say my mom, it was in actuality most likely me.  I've been my mom's stand in crafter since birth.  But "she" used this red, white, and blue ribbon and had mounds left over.  She gave it to me a few years ago.
When I was little I had a fixation with ribbons, my mom had to sew them to all my clothes.  I'm not sure I wore anything without a ribbon until I was seven or so.  At least.  Consequently, I have very formed opinions on ribbons.  I have really high standards on ribbon.  And this ribbon; it hardly qualifies as ribbon.  So I stuck it in my basement and thought I would never use the ugly wannabe ribbon. 
On one of her visits, my mom spotted some ridiculous gold fabric in my sewing/guest room closet.  When my MIL moved she gave it to me; I'm pretty sure it's leftover from a costume.  It's everything you would imagine gold fabric to be.  My mom totally made fun of me for it.  It's quite flashy.  For anything other than a costume it would be beyond over the top. 
Well, I just found a use.  Not only am I using the gold, I'm using the ribbon.

Ta-da.  Gold medals for the kiddos.  The girl went to an Olympic themed bday party last week and came home with a plastic gold medal.  Its been a hot commodity and the kids have done really well sharing.  Then today I remembered the unusable fabric and ribbon and hit the sewing machine.  A few minutes later I had three gold medalists in the family. 

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

The One Without a Quilt

First up, I finished my brother's pillow.  I made a simple envelope back, nothing high tech.  It's just the cover, for a 14" pillow form.  I figure my brother can procure his own pillow form and I can ship it for cheap. 
Thing is I don't have any 14" pillows in my house.  The closest I have are the zebra pillows I made for the loft.  It's a jungle theme.
We can fake it, so no worries.  Here it is, a disguised zebra pillow.

I'm just about done quilting the star part of the big star for my mom.  I'm a bit undecided on how to quilt the surround.  I don't want to quilt it within an inch of its life, I'm thinking that I may pseudotie it.  Which in Amanda speak means I'm thinking about quilting Xs every now and then to make sure the thing stays in one piece. 
When that's done, I have a plan for this little stack. 
But first, I have a twin sized bed quilt to make.  My youngest doesn't have a quilt by Mom.  He's the one without a quilt.  His sister has a purple quilt I made a couple years ago.  Big brother has a planet quilt I made last year.  And teensy man has squat.  Of course he has a baby blanket and a few strays he's adopted, but he doesn't have his official quilt from mom.  It's gonna match his brother's. Seeing as big brother's is right there on the top bunk, I need to get with the program. 
The project stalled in the cutting phase when I realized the more green I bought didn't match.  Not even well enough that I could just do it and know that I was the only one who would ever know.  So I had to make another trip to fabric mecca.  And that just didn't happen. 
But a couple weeks ago I finally did it.  It's all cut now and ready to go.  I'm hoping to get it done by this winter.  It's a lot of hand quilting.  I think the last one took a couple months.

ps I added an about me page up top, ya know, if you're curious
linking to tgiff and confessions of a fabric addict

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Holy Throw Pillow, Batman!

My brother Nathan is unmarried.  Translation: he has no wife to interfere with his decorating sense.  Currently, that sense is telling him to create a miniGotham for his Batman bobbleheads on his mantel.  I've been put in charge of essentially a table runner for under the wooden buildings; I'll be making the roads and curbs and whatnot.  Seeing as this is his living room, I'm butting in and doing some decorating for him in the form of a throw pillow. 
Right now it's not sewn, it's just fused waiting for me to stop reading the 100 Cupboards series.  Rereading technically.  What can I say, my husband had a business trip.  When left to myself I either quilt or read.  This time I picked read.
I went with POW as it's pretty classic.  My personal favorite, of course, has always been BIFF.  Seriously, what's not to love about BIFF?  It's a bit dorky, just the way I like 'em.  I think for authenticity purposes the POW ought to have an exclamation mark.  Oh well.
Also, I haven't actually told my bro-dawg that I'm vicariously decorating, so I suppose we are back to Don't Tell Nathan Lindsey status.  I think it's level Orange.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Quilt Field Trip

It wasn't a very far field trip, but after dragging this little quilt around my house and finding no good lighting, I decided to take it outside.  This was a first for me; I'm allergic to grass and the idea of walking in grass and putting a quilt on grass has always been at odds with my grass avoidance instincts.  But it looks good, I may have to do this again.
I started with the throw it on the grass method.  Turns out we have high points in our grass; I totally had to smack some parts down to make it lay mostly flat.  Who'd have thought?
It caused a bit of a head-scratcher when it came to getting my robot shots.  Every single wrinkle on the "metal" shows up.  Stinkin' grass.  Maybe the throw it on the grass method has a caveat about weird fabric.
With the back, I so didn't even care if it was flat or not.  I mean really, it's the back, and in this case hardly a masterpiece.
 I got my shot of the stripes specifically, and then I started seeing what I had in my backyard.
 Doesn't it look good on a swing? I'm majorly loving this shot.  It's just cutesy.
 And I really like how it looks hanging off the fort.  You can't see too much of the quilt, so maybe the folded up hanging shots should be reserved for certain quilt patterns, but still, I'm loving hanging this quilt off things. 

This was also my first machine quilted quilt.  And honestly, probably one of not very many.  I really only see myself machine quilting again if it's some kind of timing issue.  Of course though, I couldn't let this one finish with no hand quilting.  The inside of each square is hand quilted with the third color not in the square.  Meaning I used blue on the center green and white square.  I just like hand quilting.
This quilt's off to join the others in my shop.  Next up, the big star for my mom's guest room.

linking up with tgiff and whoop whoop

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Back To My Hoop

Ahh.  Nothing against machine quilting, it was certainly faster and kinda fun, but I just was born a hand quilter.  Turns out I missed putting fabric in my hoop.  Seriously, I feel calm just looking at a quilt in my gigantor hoop. 
This is the big star I'm making for my mom's guest room.  I was initially kinda anxious about the brown trim I put around the star, the room is a pale gray.  I was planning on sending the quilt as a surprise with a note that apologized for the brown.  But the other day my mom started telling me about some drapes my dad got for the room that look gray but are really blue and brown up close.  I so had to tell her; how serendipitous.  And nice 'cause now I don't have to feel bad about injecting brown into the room.  And good thing too, because how perfect is that houndstooth I picked up for the back?  
Also in the category of things I find exciting,  my treadle is not only operational, but I managed to operate it!  It's kinda tricky on my carpet, I ought to get it some risers maybe, but I did it.  One of my bobbins was already wound, so i stuck it in to see what I could manage.  And I totally made some stitches. 
But man alive, they are tiny.  And this wasn't even as small as it can go.  Not by a long shot. 
Now to point out the geeky parts:
  • the prewound bobbin thread was like a rope, can you see it there at the bottom, it's totally a ridge along the back
  • The back is majorly ugly at first, you can totally tell at what point I finally got the wheel to go all the way around
  • my stitches aren't straight at all, I was totally watching the treadle; I realized afterward that it probably wasn't the best idea to have my fingers by a needle and my eyes on the big wheel
And as an added bonus, I'll throw in a story that the last one just reminded me of:
Growing up my dad always told me to cut away from myself.  Always, apparently I had a tendency to cut towards myself.  One day in college I was cutting a pineapple.  In my head I could hear my dad telling my to "cut away from yourself, Amanda."  I thought it was pretty amusing so I start to tell my roommate and then, of course, I cut myself.  Yeah, still working on that one.  But I was pretty impressed that my subconscious was looking out for me.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Be Honest

I'm still putting the binding on my machine quilted baby quilt.  There is totally a place that bunched up.  I see it and it looks awful, but for my first try and considering I was using a regular presser foot, I tell myself it's not as bad as it looks... maybe.
Sometimes I see a quilt that supposedly has a flaw and I totally can't find what the blogger is talking about.  Other times, I can only find it if I hunt for awhile.  Other times, yeah, it's pretty obvious.  So I'm gonna show you my bunchy quilting and let you tell me how bad it really is.  I tell myself that the look will change after I wash it and maybe it won't all be so noticeable.  Anyway, seriously, how noticeable is it?  [and I don't mean the general tug of fabric, I know that's pretty clear :) ]
Did you find it?  'Bout the middle of the shot, where blue and polka dot are above white and blue.

In other sewing progress, a few weeks ago I bought my first charm packs.  I usually like to pull my own combinations rather than use a fabric line.  This fabric was so my sister that I couldn't resist.  I planned on using it for a baby girl quilt for a someday niece.  Realistically, that niece is at least a year away, and the fabric was calling my name, so I totally stole it for my mom. 
When I sent my Gma the birdie quilt, my mom pointed out that she didn't have a quilt made by me.  Noted.  My mom's house has a guest bed with bedding that is, shall we say, less than cute, so that is where the quilt from me will go.

I'm making a giant star and it's going really quickly.  I have to add fabric to the sides but then the quilt top will be done.  I had thought I was getting a creamier white for my surround, but whatever, it is what it is.  The brown is left over from the Scrabble quilt.  Considering how much I don't do brown, I've ended up using scrabble scraps a lot.

I've got another project in the works, too.  A sister-in-law was in town when my mom got her dislocated hip goodie bag.  Thankfully, my SIL doesn't need a walker bag, but apparently she did need a book purse.  After a pic text consultation, she chose Donna Parker in Hollywood.  (I read this one and I so don't have a problem gutting it.  Seriously a page was missing and I didn't even notice, the editing was so bad throughout the rest of the book.) Anyway, so I'm thinking the big floral to go with the Hawaiian Hollywood theme of the cover.  But the polka dots are a nice color match.  Does it matter?  Should I just go floral?

Thanks for letting me ask you.  Getting opinions from more than just my husband is one really nice aspect of blogging.

And check it out, I'm being featured over at Quiltstory today. 

Thursday, July 5, 2012


I did it.  I machine quilted something.  It doesn't have a binding, so not pics quite yet, but it's coming along.  I didn't not like machine quilting; it was a bit of a thrill having the quilting done so much faster, but I just am a hand quilter. 
But at least I can say I did it.  And if ever time was of the essence, I could do it again.