Friday, August 31, 2012

Operation: Pillows

First a little update:  I'm about a third of the way on the binding for the big star quilt.  Last night I got all settled in to bind it but while I was looking for something mindless to semiwatch as I went I discovered netflix had more Jane by design episodes and binding did not happen!
Have you checked out yet?  That's right, Lizzie Bennet.  It's awesomeness in five minute segments.
And here's another site for you to mosey on over to.  My jungle quilt is in the contest this week at Quilting Gallery.  Check out some neat leaves quilts and vote for your faves.  Especially if one of them is my jungle quilt.  It's this one.
And now onto my finishes. 
Operation: Pillows began with the couch.  It's crazy comfy but it's that brown/green color that is hard to pin down.  The matching pillows weren't doing it any favors, and so, they were gutted.  I'm only two in so far, but I have only success to report.  The couch is officially hidden by its pillows.  The genius of a pop of color, my ambiguously colored couch has become a neutral that recedes! 
My pillows do bring up the quandary of whether there is such things as too much polka dot.  I'm thinking not, but just to be safe no more polka dots.  The fabric I have in mind for the next one is much worse.  I think my mom will regret ever passing in on to me.  It will be awesome.  My husband is a doubter, but oooh, it will epic.
I plan on also having a yellow one.  Yellow is my official out of nowhere color downstairs.  My mixer is yellow and it's the odd man out, a yellow pillow will make it officially my accent color.

linking to tgiff and whoop whoop

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

The Big Star Quilt

 My sister's old bedroom is now one of three guest rooms in my parents' house. It's also first in line for a makeover. My parents took down paneling, painted and did other stuff. And I'm supplying the quilt.
I love the points.  It's it gorgeously pointy?
 I don't have a name for it really.  We call it either the big star or my mom's quilt.  Technically I could also call it the quilt made with fabric I originally bought for my sister's eventual children, but calling it the big star quilt is a little less confessional. 
It's handquilted again, of course.  I quilted around each square in the star and went with diagonal quilting in the negative space.  I didn't want it over-quilted.  The diagonals are quilted with a creamy white, my red marking pencil is still showing so it looks kinda pink.  And wrinkled.  For some reason, it got more and more wrinkled as my shoot went on. 
 Sometimes I wonder just how camoflage he thinks he is...

He throughly approves of the quilt.  Just wait til he sees it with binding!
 Maybe he needs one of these instead of his planets?

linking to fabric tuesday over at quiltstory

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Next, I'll End World Hunger

The girl and I survived another week of only a napping little brother.  She's getting back into the routine of big brother off at school.  I'm even able to get some of my own sewing done now.
Saturday my husband went to play paintball and I mentioned that my goal for the week was the closet in the sewing room.  He then did a quick look to the back door.  My first thought, "oh no, are there wasps again," and then I realized he was looking at the bare curtain rod I hung a year ago in the kitchen.  Our table sits in a nook that leads to the backyard.  I had already made valances for the side windows, but the main sliding glass door was bare.  Well, if you don't count the curtain rod, that is...
And so, because I am a younger sister to three brothers, I do things just to prove I can.
One paintball excursion later: a finished valance, hung even. And a box pleat.  It was pretty satisfying to have it done; even if my little sister tendencies may have been used to my husband's advantage.
 Our living room, eating space, and kitchen are all one big room.  We've distinguished them with paint and I'm unifying them with fabric.  The curtains are all a different style (not in an obnoxious way) but all the same home dec fabric. 
I then even did some work on the closet.  When we moved into our house, four and a half years ago, I shoved some stuff in this closet.  We use it as a guest room and my sewing, so it was never really a high priority in the unpacking realm.  I mean really, it's a closet.
everytime I see a pic of this room I feel the need to paint it

But no longer.  I'm all over it.  Here are some gems I found in the closet.
  • old broken suitcase of my mom's
  • electric fan
  • bow and arrows
  • 5 pillows
  • 7 comforters (that's right 7, and I totally have more in the linen closet)
  • 7 water bottles
  • coupon for cranberry juice expired 9/1/08
  • a copy of my medical chart I took with me to have my youngest
  • one flat sheet for a bed size we don't even have
I made some serious progress.  It's now sorted into trash and not-trash and the not trash is put away.  Here's what half of the closet looks like now.  Gotta love the mile-high bedding.  (and I'm baby stepping my way to the top shelf, just know that box isn't actually full of saltines.
If you are somehow still reading, I have a question.  Should I go for it and let my mom donate towards a craigslist sewing cabinet for moi?  It's a good price, but do I really need one?  I don't think I really do.  But my mom had some good arguments; I can't really tell you or you might think we are nuts.  My husband even said it was taking it a little far even for us.  I'll just tell you the word "bone-saw" was involved.  'Cause ya know, bone-saws and sewing cabinets. Here's a pic of its quirkiness.

image 3
The sewing surface isn't the top of the unit, but it does close up to hide the machine.  And am I the only one who thinks the pull out thread storage is awesome?  But really, I'm pretty sure I'd survive without it.  Should I hold off a few years and get a more traditional one?  Or, most realistically, keep sewing at my desk forever?

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

The Doll Quilt

Big Brother (and by that I mean my oldest, not a creepy Orwellian government...) headed off to first grade today.  Last year when he went off to Kindergarten, I was NOT AT ALL PREPARED for how much the girl would miss him.  Sure she had teensy man, but he takes marathon naps and wasn't really even around to play with.  I think I spent more time playing dollhouse and kitchen that week than the rest of my life. 
So this week, first grade, I was prepared.  She and I were gonna make a doll quilt.  I had visions of stretching it out the whole week. I envisioned using the time after littlest man goes to sleep but before she does.  It's tops an hour a day.  My plan was choosing fabric, choosing a block, playing on the design wall, and then finally piecing and quilting.  Ha!  Try telling that to a four year old.  Today, in about an hour, we made a doll quilt.
And by we I mean me and her "sewing hand."  Apparently she has one.
 It also comes in handing during pinning. 
 That little hand was glued to me most of the time.  And she felt the need to push down so that she could really be a help pushing the fabric through the machine.
When it came to sewing, I got some major flak about the whole right sides together thing. She insisted everytime that I was doing it inside out and needed to make it "outside right." Everytime.
My view alternated between this and this.
 She had wanted a pink binding but by the time I got to that point her attention span was working in my favor.  We opted to skip a binding.  Which worked out really nicely for me as it turns out my daughter only knows hand quilting.  Go figure.  Here I am ruing the day I became a hand quilter. 
 But we finally finished it.  Here it is in all its glory.
 It's 17" or so square.  The star in the center is an orphan block.  I had entertained the idea of making a quilt of various purple stars.  I so don't have the tedium tolerance for making the same block over and over again.  I do it for my boys quilts, but that's it.  She choose the surrounding fabric herself.  The back is pieced from various purple scraps.  We use a lot of purple around here.
 I'd say PJ Sparkles looks pretty cozy.  Sure beats her last 15 years in my mom's garage and our basement. 

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Didn't See That Coming

Generally, this blog is pretty much only stuff I'm sewing, but today I have to give a little glimpse into my life for some context that totally affects my sewing.This is our last week of summer; next week, first grade.  We went camping earlier in the summer but one of our hikes was rained out.  It was the girl's favorite hike, so it was put on our summer list but hadn't gotten done.  Yesterday I took the kiddos to the mountains by myself.  Seriously, I'm not sure what I was thinking, it was pretty ambitious.  We just recently turned six, four, and two.  I tend to plan for just about every scenario so we were fine as far as the kids and everything, but we did have a total left field experience.
 My glasses broke!  Like broke.  Luckily I am far-sighted and can see well enough at distance that the two hour drive home wasn't an issue.  Reading the letterbox clues, generally processing things up close, bit of an issue.  And my hand quilting after bedtime, not so much.
Really, I maybe should have seen this coming.  Last week one of the nose pad things flew off.  Literally, it flew off.  I was actually at my machine when I happened.  All I saw was something little flying by my eye, my reflex assessment was that it was a broken needle, I was relieved that it wasn't a needle flying at my eye, but then kinda bummed as it was my glasses.   And now the ear piece.  Lamers.
phone pic, this was the last update shot my mom got

And of course I had just joined the challenge over at Amy's.    I don't have that much to do really.  I bet I can get it done anyway.  I decided to quilt the negative space in larger squares on point.  It looks super fantastic up close.  I am loving the effect.  I can't wait to get it all finished and sent off.