Monday, September 30, 2013

Why hello there...

It's been a few days.  Life has been a bit busy the past two weeks...and unfortunately that has led to almost no sewing time (I did work on a few xplus blocks the other day though).  And computer crashed...hard.  So now I'm without any pictures or anything until I figure out at what point in my time machine to go and recovery data from.  C'est la Vie!

Hope to be back up and sewing soon!

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Good intentions...

On my quiet sewing day, I have a finish to share with you...this particular quilt was started with the best of intentions back in the spring.  It has not ended up where it was first intended to it will stay here at home with me to remind me to always set out with good intentions...even if it doesn't always end as originally intended...

the backing fabric was just a print I picked up from Hancock fabrics:

Fabric - Happy Go Lucky by Bonnie&Camille
Pattern - Lawn Chair Quilts by Monica Solario-Snow
Thread - piecing: Mettler, quilting: Isacord
Batting - Pellon

a quiet day

I had other, really awesome plans for today.  But I woke up this morning with my sinuses all funky and not feeling the urge to drive 2 hours with a sinus headache.  So I'm gonna medicine-up and spend a quiet day in my sewing room.

and since I love is my quiet day list:

  1. Bind Lawn Chair
  2. Work on Lucky Jam
  3. Work on X-plus
  4. Baste Baby A's quilt
I'll check back later today to let you know how it goes!

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

15 minute challenge...

ooops!  I'm a day late in checking in with the 15 minute challenge.  But what can you expect from someone who woke up yesterday morning convinced it was Friday?  (it was not fun to realize it was definitely Tuesday!).  We are knee deep in what should, hopefully, be the last major event at work for the year, and I'm just ready for it to be over!  Anyways, here are my stats:

Tuesday: X plus
Wednesday: X plus
Thursday: none
Friday: X plus
Saturday: X plus and Lawn Chair
Sunday: Lawn Chair
Monday: none

Another 5 of 7 week!  I'm very excited about my trend lately towards actually finishing up projects.  Lawn Chair was pieced way back in April, basted in August, and finally quilted in September (perhaps it will be bound by December?).  It will be my 3rd finish of the month!  I have FMQd this one and the last one I finished and I'm really enjoying how that is going.  The time I spent learning more about what FMQ was, and how to do it has really paid off (you can check out this post to see more about my path with FMQ).  However, I don't think that this is a skill that can just be left to sit and will need practice or the skills will be lost.  I also haven't made it all the way through one of the classes, so there is still tons to learn.  I will say that one of my goals for this year was to improve upon my FMQ skills, and I can consider that goal met!

Friday, September 13, 2013

Bring me a dozen!

X Plus blocks that is!  These blocks are a lot of fun to make, even though there is a ton of pressing involved, just to see the fabrics come together!  I'm up to 12 blocks:

(not the greatest pic...poor lighting this time of night!) As more fabrics get mixed in, I really can't wait to see how they all work out!  I had considered adding a few more fabrics, but then I would be tempted to buy fabric just to add to this I'm sticking with what I've got...and so it!

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

15 minute challenge...back in the game!

After taking the summer off and stepping away from the regularly scheduled sewing, I am so happy to say that this past week put me back in the thick of it!  How I have missed making time regularly for myself at the sewing table!  So here we go with this week's 15 minute challenge with Kate!

Tuesday: Zig Zag
Wednesday: Zig Zag
Thursday: none
Friday: RWB
Saturday: RWB, xplus
Sunday: RWB, xplus
Monday: none

5 of 7!  Feeling good!  This month's fostering creativity theme is "learn something new every day."  Wow.  That's a tough one.  I'm by profession, a teacher.  This is what I tell my students regularly (of course they are all over the age of 18, and mostly male, so they rarely listen...and one of my current students happens to be my we are really working on the listening!).  There are times around my department (training) where it is often a running joke that we learned something new that day.  Truth is...we really do.  We learn from out students, from each other, from our children...etc.  Now, how does this apply to fostering creativity...well, not sure that it is so easy to apply to ones creative piece.  Some days I'm sewing the same block over and over...doesn't feel like I'm increasing my knowledge...but at the same time...those seams are getting straighter and more accurate the more I go.  So instead of "learn" something new every may be in the "practice" something every day.  Stuff for me to think about. 

Hope you have had a great stitching week!

Monday, September 9, 2013

What I did over the weekend

Here was the list I had for myself:

  1. Work on Lucky Jam quilt blocks
  2. Quilt RWB (it's been basted and waiting for several weeks now)
  3. Quilt Lawn Chair (same as above)
  4. Start a new quilt (fabric picked and I think the pattern is picked, but that may change)
Well, I finished item #2, and started on item #4.  The RWB finish is posted here.  Now let's talk about item #4.

I've been wanting to make an x plus quilt for a long while.  But it's something that's really just stayed in the back of my mind, zero effort made towards actually working on one.  Until Friday night when I completely tossed my plan out the window for my Nordika fabric, pulled out all my Art Gallery fabrics (I have a bit of Carnaby Street and some Squared Elements) and a generous piece of Kona Ash from my stash and got to cutting.  I used this tutorial, and once I got going, I'm even more excited to see how it ends up!

Here are my first four blocks:

And now, I'll add this to the list of WIPs...and pretty much stick to it for a little bit.  I'm in love!

Sunday, September 8, 2013

A memorable finish

Well, got one thing officially crossed off my list this weekend.  I quilted and bound the RWB quilt!

This quilt is a memory quilt for Guy's cousin.  She had saved many of her mother's shirts and sent them to me almost 2 years ago to make them into a quilt for her.  This quilt was very difficult for me to work on, as her mother is missed by all of us.  Today I finally got it finished and I'm very excited to get it sent off to Guy's cousin.




I used a pattern out of Natalia Bonner's book Beginner's Guide to Free Motion Quilting.  I marked each row with chalk to get the curve roughly the same (I did finish up the last few rows without marking as I felt I had a good handle on it) and FMQd with Isacord (once again, love this stuff!).

Fabric: all solids and blue polka dot from my stash
Batting: Pellon
Thread: Piecing and binding - Mettler Metrosene; quilting - Isacord

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Weekend update!

Well, I've been working on my weekend list.  And have a bit of an update.  I'm almost 50% of the way through quilting the RWB quilt:

It's not taking a lot of time to actually quilt's the marking of the quilt up front that's taking the time! Hope to have it finished up by lunch.

I have also decided on a pattern for the new quilt I want to start (so excited...just gotta get a few more things done first!) and finalized fabric selection (more on this later!).

And now back to stitching!  My LONGHORNS have a game tonight actually televised on a channel I get, and a baby shower to head to at I've got to get my tail in gear!

Friday, September 6, 2013

Weekend list...

It's been awhile since I made of list of items I hope to accomplish over a weekend...and since I happen to have a 3 day weekend (love having today off!), time for another weekend stitch-fest!  Here is what I hope to accomplish:

  1. Work on Lucky Jam quilt blocks
  2. Quilt RWB (it's been basted and waiting for several weeks now)
  3. Quilt Lawn Chair (same as above)
  4. Start a new quilt (fabric picked and I think the pattern is picked, but that may change)
And that's about it.  The above are in no particular order, except I really need to get item #2 done very soon, and I really should try and get the top 3 done before starting on #4.  However, sometimes you just have to start something new!

I'll be back periodically to check in!  Have a great Friday!

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Zig Zag to the finish...

Woohoo!  I've got a quilty type finish to share!  This little baby quilt is for a friend who's baby shower happens to be in a few days (finished with time to spare!).  They are expecting a little boy, and dad is a big Auburn fan.

So I knew right away I wanted to use the above Auburn print, but I didn't want it to be the only fabric.  I got to thinking and new I wanted to make a zig zag I went searching and found the pattern over at Moda Bake Shop.



I quilted using both blue and orange thread, following the zig zags to keep it simple.  So glad I got this one done in plenty of time for the shower!  Every little one needs a good blankie during football season!

Fabric: Auburn Print - Farbique Innovations; Blue - Kona, Orange - Bella Solids
Pattern: Based on Zig Zag Baby by Amanda Castor
Batting: Warm and White
Thread: Mettler Metorsene (piecing and quilting)

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Rock n' Roll Baby!!

Wow...even two days later I'm still a little WOW about what Guy and I did!  Running a half marathon was something I never would have imagined us doing.  And now...we did it!  And we are considering doing more...but I'll get to that.  Let's recap...

So the race was in Virginia, so we got up at the crack of dawn on Saturday to get on the road.  You had to pick up your own race stuff, so we needed to get there at a reasonable hour so that we would have time to do that.  The expo was pretty cool, I picked up one of these and we scoped everything out before heading towards the hotel.

We did this race with other friends (all faster than me and Guy and pretty much veterans of the half marathon thing), so we all stayed at the same hotel and had dinner together that night.  After dinner it was time to get ready for the race and get to bed (wake up time was coming way too early).  I laid everything out so that I was prepared and ready to go.

We were up by 4 am on Sunday.  Had to be, just to get to the parking for the race and shuttled over to the starting line in plenty of time.  It sucked (the early hour, not the other stuff).  This was when I realized that as carefully as I had running sunglasses did not make the trip.  I freaked for a few minutes and then said oh well.  Thankfully one of our friends had a spare pair and I was good to go!  Once we got the starting area, it was more hurry up and wait.  So we hit the porta potty lines a couple of times (thankfully it was mostly dark...which made the portas a lot easier to deal with).  Finally it was time to head to our corrals and get ready to start!  Guy and I had made a plan that we would run the race together, so it was really nice and calming to my nerves for him to be there (not that you cold tell by the look on my face in this picture).

And then all of a sudden the race was on!  We crossed the start line with our corrals and off we went.  And was such a great experience!  The first several miles just flew by...we were well ahead of our standard pace, and as much as we tried to slow ourselves down...we still were ahead of pace.  The weather at the start was pretty nice (this is in my own opinion, quite a few runners struggled with the weather conditions) with decent temps and a nice breeze.  And then the sun came out in full glory and we hit miles 8-10.  Those miles sucked big donkey balls.  Forgive the crude language, but that's about the cleanest way I can describe it.  They were terrible.  Those miles were in the sun, no shade, with little to no scenery.  The temperatures climbed rapidly and the humidity just slapped us around.  I was starting to doubt if we would be able to finish (Guy was pretty unhappy during this period of time also, and I later found out it took a much larger toll on him than I).  And then FINALLY we passed mile 10. Only 3.1 miles to go.  I felt like crud, but I just wanted to finish.  And the I got a text from my Mom.  She had signed up for runner tracking and had been receiving text messages updating her when I passed certain pre-determined points in the race.  Her text was very simple, but it meant the world to me at that moment in time, I teared up, was ready to cry...and then I buckled down and told myself I was going to finish and finish strong!

About a half mile later I looked at Guy and was shocked to see an ugly red patch on his shirt...he was suffering from bloody nips.  He hadn't even noticed til I pointed it out to him.  Within a quarter mile we saw a medical tent and we ran to that and he got some bandaids applied and we were off again!  Unfortunately we still had a hill to climb.  So we walked up it.  And then ran down it.  About this point in time Guy was done.  He wanted nothing else to do with the race, he was gonna walk the rest.  I told him no.  We were doing it together.  So we did.  The last mile was a lot of walking.  But once we really could see we were almost at the finish...we ran.  And crossed the line holding hands!  (oh yeah...cheez city!!).

And then we got our medals.

And chocolate milk and pretzels and bananas and popsicles and gatorade and water.  And then we went in search of our friends.  My legs HURT!  I was tired and wanted to sit down but knew if I did I would hate myself later (well my muscles would at least!).  So we walked and walked.  I had a bit of a meltdown because about this time I just became incredibly overwhelmed.  We had freakin finished a half marathon!!!  Guy and I stopped for a second, let me calm down...and then we were off.  We eventually met up with our friends and all headed towards the shuttles to get back to our vehicle and then back to the hotel.  Thankfully we weren't leaving until the next morning!  We ate lunch, went swimming in the pool, and were lazy for a few hours before heading out to dinner with our group.  By 7 pm...we were all pooped!  So we headed back to the hotel and this was me for the rest of the night:

We got home yesterday, still a bit stiff and sore...but feeling pretty good.  So good in fact...that today we registered as a team (me and Guy) for the RnR Savannah 1/2 marathon relay race in November!  But more on that another day.  Later!

Monday, September 2, 2013

Bringing home the bling!

We did it!

I'll be back later for an actual recap of the race...I'm still processing a bunch of feelings and thoughts and the whole experience.  Had to post the bling pic though!