Saturday, May 28, 2011

lazy Saturday sewing

I finished the top of the lodge quilt today, yessss!  Oh man, I thought I might have wanted to throw it out the window the last couple of weekends!  I don't think I ever want to mess around with 18.5 inch blocks again.  nuh-uh. Unless I have a 18.5 square template thing like my 12.5 one.  Anyways.....some of the squares were just a smidge too small in some spots so I ended up sewing on extra pieces of fabric, because I did NOT want to cut them all smaller.  Sorry the pic is kind of blurry, but you get the idea. 
lodge quilt frontplaying with backroundsNow I'm thinking about what I'm going to do for the back, here's a pic of my brainstorming.  I might not go with the brown plaid flannel after all, not sure.  Originally, like years and years ago, I had bought that fabric to make the hubs a shirt because he's super tall and it's hard to find things to fit his long arms.  But, obviously since the fabric is still in my stash I have not gotten around to it.  I'm thinking I might do some giant flying geese in the middle where the blue is and maybe just do red on either side because I have lots of that red fabric.  Hmmm.

Yesterday Jan and I went to an estate sale, and came away with nada!  There was a lot of nice glassware but everything was kind of overpriced.  We trolled around to a find a couple of yard sales that were advertised on craigslist and the paper, but I think the weather must have gotten to them because no such sales could be found.  We did check out a new antique store, it was quite nice inside.  Jan found a couple of cute and good deals at this other place that is like on of those places people have booths selling stuff.  She's redoing her guest room in shabby chic.

In other news, I finished a book (in a day) last Sunday called The Judgement, by Beverly Lewis.  It is the second book in a series called the Rose Trilogy and it's her newest series.  I wasn't as impressed with the first book, but this one had more heart.  I really liked it and look forward to reading the last one when it comes out in September.  It was an easy read, and the characters seemed more personable this book.  I think I might know how things are going to end up, and frankly I'd be happy if it did :)

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

lodge quilt update

I'm calling this one the "lodge quilt" because it reminds me of a lodge at some sort of camping area.  I've got all the blocks sashed with blocks of mostly solids.  Now, I just need to sew them all together and then decide if I want a border or just quilt it and bind it.  Decisions, decisions.  Each blocks measures about 18.5"

 Here's a close up of the last block I did yesterday.  So, here's the story, that little flying geese in the border is a funny little thing.  I had been hoarding saving that fabric since I made the owl pillows for Jan because I knew eventually I'd get around to making a hunting themed quilt.  I had one block left and had found this tutorial online on how to get 4 flying geese blocks at once without waste.  Perfect, I thought!  Um, but I didn't really use my noggin.  The finished block was supposed to end up 3.5x7 and the square to cut out was 6.25.  How I thought I could get 4 seven inch wide rectangles starting with a 6.25 inch block I'll never know!  I think I was just too excited.  But, I used my precious little bit of this fabric.  ugh.  So on a whim last yesterday I thought I'd encorporate the damaged goods into a block.  I think it adds a little character, yes?

Sunday, May 15, 2011

crocheted happiness

So yesterday was a wash!  I felt so awful all day, and still was determined to do something productive, but it  didn't turn out well.  I made one quilt square.  hmphf.  Friday was a different story, though!  The other day whilst browsing blogs, I came across one that mentioned "jars with jackets" and was intrigued.  I clicked on the link et voila!  And, as so often happens - it crossed my mind that, hey!  I could make that!  You see, I like to put ground cinnamon in my coffee grounds as it's brewing and have used a little recycled jar to hold the cinnamon next to the coffee.  It's not the cutest set up, but it's been useful.  But now, check it out!
What do you think?  I love it!  I used an amigurumi pattern from one of my books and just added some stripes.  It whipped up pretty quick, I started making it at the beginning of "How to Train Your Dragon" and by the end of the movie it was donezo.  It makes me happy :)
So, I forgot to mention that when Jan and I got together last weekend, she had a little gift for me!  She said she found this fabric at Walmart in the clearance section and picked it up for me.  I LOVE it!  There is one yard of each of the prints.  I am going to save the stripey one for a quilt binding.....if I can even wait that long.  I keep wanting to cut into it and then have to remind myself I'm saving it.  So, we'll see. 

In other news, it's snowing right now!  Snowing.  So, if you are somewhere warm and sunny - savor it :)

Saturday, May 14, 2011

weekend update.

This will be sort of a short post today, I'm not feeling so fab.  A little nauseous and eewy.  But, I wanted to share what I've been working on lately. 
I finally conquered granny squares!  I'm glad I did because it's supposed to be the easiest thing to make crochet-wise and I wasn't quite getting it!  Bah.  I figured out my problem was that I hold the yarn too tightly.  I've mostly crocheted amigurumi dolls, and you want the stitches to be tight for those so that when you stuff them then the stuffing doesn't show through.  I relaxed my hands a bunch and voila!  I had signed up for a granny square swap on Swap-Bot.  It was a sender's choice for colors, my inspiration was an ad from a magazine for jewelry.  The different rings and earrings had peridot (green) and blue topaz together, and amethyst (purple) and rhodolite (dark pink) together.  I LOVE the combinations of gemstones so I thought it might translate well for granny squares :)
crocheted granny squares
So, last Saturday, while I was finishing these squares up, Jan called to see if I'd want to troll around with her.  We went to a few yard sales - ones my Mom would call a "dog sale" - and one of them had this little gem:
Seriously, I was running across the lawn to grab it up!  It was marked $5 (which I thought was a great price) but I am super cheap frugal so I asked if she'd take $4 and she did!  Eeeek!  So excited!  It's out in the craft house.  I'm planning to make new clothes for my old dolls and get furniture and carpet for that bottom floor and set up house!
This is the quilt I'm currently working on:
lodge quilt
I'm going to make more pine tree squares and then sash all the star, geese and pine tree blocks to match the size of the deer/bear paw blocks and then sew it all together.  I'm liking the way it's coming together.  Bonus is Hubs likes it too!  Well, that's not really fair because he likes everything I've made so far - but this is really his style, hunting and fishing.
I finished up the new Beverly Lewis book, The Thorn today.  It was pretty good, it's the first book of a trilogy and I'm wondering if I can figure out how it might go in the other books.  I noticed that her style in this book was just a teensy bit clipped compared to some of her others.  I still really liked it, just not quite as much as her previous ones.

Thursday, May 5, 2011


     I've been thinking about this post all week.  It sort of started on Monday.  A gal I work with had made a quilt for her new baby and was thinking about all the mistakes she thought she had made.  What a familiar statement!  I pick apart my work, my quilts, my scrapbooking, my knitting, crochet, hair, body......everything!  So, I said bring it in and let's see if there's anything we need to fix and I'll help.  She did...and as suspected it was just fine.  Beautiful in fact!
     That night I went to bible study and the gal leading study paused at one point, feeling a little insecure, and asked if we were following, if we liked what she was saying, teaching.  She needed to hear that we liked what she was teaching, we understood what she was saying.
     Then, I started thinking about myself, as things usually do circle back that way.  I was thinking about how I even started quilting - some of it is because I am competitive and thought "I could do that" and wanted to prove to myself that I could.  And, now I love it.  I was encouraged, inspired, and a little jealous of what I saw other ladies (and some men) creating and HAD to join in.  I was thinking how incredibly cool that the whole community of bloggers, flickr and such have created and I'm so glad to be a part of it in even a miniscule way.  I started to think that I should blog about how important it is for us to encourage each other, to share what we've learned.
    Yesterday I was poking around, clicking links and what not, and came across a huge ugly mess.  Apparently there is some controversy going on in the quilty-blogland.  I'm unclear on how it started to surface, but seems like there have been rude comments posted on people's blogs judging that person's work.  I know that we all have our own opinions and maybe I might not like someone else's work - but boy!  I sure do appreciate how much time, thought, and work go into things!  Because I do the same thing.  I feel so lucky that so far I've only encountered nice comments, encouragement and support.  I am hard enough on myself that I don't need to hear any destructive comments!  Dang!  I feel awful for those who have had the mean comments made on their blogs.
     So, what's my point?  Just that we need to encourage one another!  Not only is it just plain nicer - I mean, who's Mom didn't tell them that if they didn't have anything nice to say not to say anything at all???  But, for me, I refer back to my ultimate reference - God's word.  Over and over I find the words encourage, encourage one another, and to watch what we may say.  No one is perfect, and I know that anything I say could be taken wrong, or maybe offend someone - but that is never my intent! 

1 Thessalonians 4:18 Therefore encourage one another with these words.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

seam allowances are important

Wow!  I feel like this weekend flew by!  Maybe it had something to do with the nice weather?  Who knows.  But, just so you know - almost every day last week there was snow at some point during the day.  And today it is 70 degrees!  Yessss! 
I did get some sewing done.  A gal that I used to work with had a birthday on Friday, and we were all going to get together for dinner or lunch.  But, that day turned out not to work, which actually worked out okay because I was only 75% done with this runner!  I thought about it the weekend before, but I was trying to finish up the it didn't happen.  I decided to try this pattern from the Moda Bake Shop, called Choc-o-cherry turnover treat.  As it turns out (and you may know this) all the patterns on the MBS are pretty much made from their pre-cuts.  In this case, a turnover, which at the time I was cutting out my fabric I did not know what size the triangles were supposed to be. so I sorta guessed.  If you learn anything from me and my endeavors - it's this: maybe don't guess.  Oh, and make sure that your seams allowances are the same!  Two big foibles.  Well, maybe the seam allowance  thing is the biggie here.  I'm not consistent with mine, and in this particular project it was a BIG deal.  See, you start with the small middle square, sew, line it up and trim, then sew on the middle triangles, sew, line it up and get it.  Well, somewhere along the way each square would be slightly different......thus my ending squares were all a teensy bit different.  There were 3 that were small and so I ended up cutting down the bigger squares.  hmphf.  You may not be able to tell from the pic but my points realllly don't line up.  and some got whittled down to not even having points.  ugh.  But, I really liked the prints all together and was tres limited on some of them so couldn't just re-do them.  Which I would have if I'd had more of certain prints.  But.....that didn't happen.  Wow.  sorry that is such a long explanation there!  I really like the final product, though, even though it is far from perfect and normally I would hate that.
runner for Tammy
In other news, I finished up that book "The Lost Hero" by Rick Riordan and I loved it!  Loved. It.  The story was really good the whole way dull spots.  Good action.  The story was told alternately between 3 different characters and mixed in some from the previous series, Percy Jackson.  This book was quite larger, but didn't feel like I was reading forever.  The next book comes out this Fall, can't wait!