Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Because if I don't write something, my last post will have been too long ago

I think I have started three blog posts in the last week and each one looks something like this:


We returned home from two weeks in California very early Friday morning, and we spent the long weekend recovering from all the fun.  My laundry is finally under control, I've cleared some of the ants out of my kitchen, and I think we're all back on Kentucky Time. That's about it, though! I don't have any pictures because the five I took are still on the camera and I need to send my family members discs to put their pictures on so I'll have some proof we were there.

Well, unless fabric counts as proof.  I did manage to snag the remaining fabric I needed for my quilt plus a few extra goodies while in CA.  You'll have to wait to see that though, because I haven't even photographed it yet!

Oh, and the diaper bag? I have a very (overly) detailed review waiting to be sent to you just as soon as I take some pictures and get them on my computer!  For now, here's what I managed to snag off Facebook for you.

Pre-breakfast stroll on Laguna Beach

That's it. Here's to being home and getting back in the swing of things, which hopefully includes some sewing and picture taking!


Friday, May 6, 2011

Friday means sewing days are coming!

Happy Friday you all!  This isn't just any other Friday here in Louisville; it's Oak's Day! (For you non locals, that's the day before the Derby, which is tomorrow.)  I don't have any Derby-related plans other than watching the two minute race from the comfort of my sofa, but I do have loads of other plans for the weekend.

I'll be doing some {gentle} stitch ripping to take out the 2+ hours of quilting in the Parisville Modern Sampler I've been working on.  I am sending it to a professional to be quilted on a machine that won't get a bent needle after 20 minutes (that's what was causing the tension issues).  For those who do their own quilting without a specialized machine, I'm curious to know what kind of sewing machine you have.  There is no way mine can handle quilting anything beyond straight lines with a walking foot (if and when I replace the cheap-o one that broke on my first quilt). 

I'm also going to be working on my diaper bag! Yay! I cut out all the pieces last night, which was made extra fun thanks to the company of Beth who made herself a camera strap cover while I was cutting.  I'm using Joel Dewberry's Tossed Flowers in Carmel and Wildflower in Mulberry along with Denyse Schmidt's Dizzy Dots in Berry (not in the picture).  All of them are decor weight fabrics, and I got a really good deal and excellent service here.  I think it took me two hours to cut out all of the pieces, but if I were actually following the directions and not completely altering the entire thing it would have only taken one.

 Della and I are headed to a friend's birthday party at her home (which is also a gorgeous farm) later this weekend, and I am not sure what I am more excited for--seeing my friend or taking Della to the farm.  They are both pretty great prospects!  I'll be making a Sweet Potato and Quinoa Salad from Mark Bittman's website to share.  His recipes are just as fabulous as his writing, in case you haven't discovered them yet. 

What are your plans for the weekend?


Thursday, May 5, 2011

Etsy Finds

I am pretty sure Mother's Day isn't just about the gifts; going out to breakfast is a pretty big deal too ;) but I wanted to showcase a few items from Etsy that I think would make great gifts--for Mother's Day or any special occasion.


Wednesday, May 4, 2011

May MSQB Block 1 of 2: Johanna's block

Something I have found to be true over and over again when sewing is that if I'm not feeling it, I just can't force it.  The reason it took me until the very last day of April to make Hilary's block is that I just wasn't entirely set on what I wanted.  I knew if I tried to force it, the block would show its true nature. 

In contrast, I actually finished Johanna's May block a few days before the calendar pages were even turned to May.  I knew as soon as she posted what I wanted to do, and I made it that night.  Like Hilary, Johanna gave a lot of license with her block--she just wanted something that was 12.5" square and included orange, pink, yellow, and white.  That's it. Anything goes from there is what she told us!

I had seen this block and wanted to make a similar version without the white sashing. There is a great tutorial to make the block over at Don't Call Me Betsy, and I loosely followed it to make this version for Johanna.

This was a bit of an improv piece, though not nearly as tricky as the Mod Mosaic block I made last month (and having made that already, this one was much easier).


Tuesday, May 3, 2011

April quilt block for Hilary

When Hilary posted her description of the April quilt blocks she wanted, I knew it was going to be a favorite.  Her theme was flowers, and she gave us free license to interpret that however we wanted--the only limits were that we use the solid fabric she provided for the background and that we not include anything "extra" that would determine the orientation of the block (like baskets, sky, etc.).  I browsed through her inspiration gallery and really loved the looks of this block and this pillow.   I went with a slightly more simple version of the first block and I finished on April 30--just in time to not be late!

If you're wondering about the quilt or diaper bag, I did buy the fabrics (Joel Dewberry Tossed Flowers in Carmel plus two others) but it looks now like it's not going to happen for a while.  The quilting is going to take for-ev-er because my little machine just can't handle it.  I am actually incredibly frustrated with it because the tension keep re-adjusting itself so one line will look great and the next looks horrible.  I am not really sure what to do.  I've stitched close to 1/3 of the the quilt and am wondering if it wouldn't be better to just rip all the stitches out (gently, of course) and send it to a professional.  This is more maddening than discouraging.  I hate ripping stitches/seams because it just feels like the hours I spent on those were totally wasted, and I don't want to have a bunch of holes all over the quilt when it's finished. At the same time I really don't want to gift a quilt that falls apart after the second washing.  Any advice or thoughts on this would be greatly appreciated. 

**Update: I decided I'm sending this off to be quilted by a pro.  Chris at the CottonPig is offering a great promo this month!**

I'm linking up with Fabric Tuesday today! If you have some extra time, it's really fun to check out some of the other projects being worked on!

Fresh Poppy Design