Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Daily Rainbow: Melty Edition

In honor of the heat wave currently settled in our area, I present today's rainbow:

Apologies for the glare in the photo.  This was made by an art student who was experimenting with using bits of crayon in a creative way.  The melting was controlled by using a heat gun--unlike the melting I was doing today, which was rather uncontrolled.

Wish we had air conditioning...

Stay hydrated y'all!

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Planning for Q3

Third Quarter of 2014: July thru September.  Sounds like the same 3 months that any other quarter has in it.  What am I planning to work on/accomplish by October 1st?

1.  Finish piecing scrappy bargello wallhanging


Don't know why this particular project moved in and took over, but I feel compelled to work on it, even when I should be doing other things.  I think I'm almost halfway done, so maybe my attention can take a break soon and wander back to civilization.

2.  Final row of Relaxing Robin

This project will finish out at twin size; don't feel like I have much more to go.  The final border will be a checkerboard pattern.  With some pieced fish thrown in, just because I like to keep things complicated.

3.  Two more blocks for drama t-shirt quilt
One of the 17 t-shirts...

Just puttering around with this project.  I am trying to draft my own paper-piecing pattern for epaulettes, and may even tackle the vines to accompany Little Shop of Horrors.

4.  Finish rainbow bathrobe
January's UFO

Born in a fit of good intentions, but now languishing in the corner of the sewing room.  I hear heavy sighs from the pile of cut out fabric, and feel the faces from the pattern envelope staring at me in a threatening manner.

5.  Make three garments

Considering the year is half over, and I'm still sporting the "make a garment a month" button on the sidebar of this blog, I either need to get it in gear, or give up the dream.  Have black fabric all picked out for a cute little dress.  What's after that, I can't even guess.

6.  Practice FMQ (placemats?)

Reuse wedding table-runner: for placemats?

Jess at Elven Garden is doing a FMQ (free-motion quilting) quilt-along.  I really wanna improve this skill!  My first attempts were very disheartening, and I essentially put the foot and practice fabric all away right afterwards, but I am ready to re-enter the fray.

7.  Quilt red/pink/black baby quilt

If I get some FMQ practice in August, I'd like to get to quilting in September.  This top was finished in 2012 and has been patiently waiting for my quilting skills to improve.

8.  Make a dent in the mending pile
Mending pile: a representative sample...

Too many mending tasks to list, or even to finish in 3 months (especially given that these are not a priority).  But I'd like to get FIVE things mended.  Don't even know which five it will be...

Am I really going to accomplish everything on this list?  Probably not.  Most likely, other projects will try and assert themselves.  Maybe a UFO will even fly out of the closet and demand to be worked into my ToDo list.  I just need to have a list to refer to, and to give me motivation when I'm at a loss and feeling like I never accomplish things.

Finish Along 2014

I am linking up to Finish Along at The Littlest Thistle for this quarter.  I like knowing that I have good company in folks like me who have more ideas than time.

Friday, July 11, 2014

Seam Ripper in Time-Out

Today's inspired quote comes from Kelly, whose blog is subtitled Where's My Seam Ripper?

"I pledge to not rip small mistakes, ignore the eye twitch that comes from leaving it, and never point the mistake out to others."

Thank you for the advice.  I need to hear it over and over again.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Oy, haven't I seen this idea before?

Just listened to an NPR show (TED Radio Hour) on creativity and works of a derivative nature, when I was surfing BlogLand and saw a project that stopped me in my tracks.  I simply *must* make this: broken herringbone.

Pro's (no Con's allowed!)

  1. It's a stash-buster, so that's a big plus.
  2. Can be made in rainbow colors!!!
  3. There's a tutorial for making the blocks, so no pattern (or book, or magazine) purchasing needed.  (Many thanks to Anne at Play-Crafts for all the hard work of getting a tutorial out there.)
  4. It was run as a QAL in 2013/14 by Molli Sparkles, and all the posts are still around and available.

But then, as I looked at more and more photos of the quilts completed in the QAL, I began to think, "Haven't I seen this somewhere before?..."  Which is not so surprising, as the InterWeb is a big place.  But I was thinking I had definitely seen this design close to home.

from Angela Pingel's blog Cut to Pieces
And, Lo and Behold! On my very own blog, I had already fallen in love with elements of this design and color scheme.  Fortunately, I have my wild ideas parking lot for the endless parade of "new and shiny" that crosses my path and pulls my interest away from the current goings-on.

Parking this idea for a future play date.  Back to your lives, Citizens.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Quarter 2 Wrap-Up

At the beginning of this Quarter, I set some goals.  Those goals actually helped me (a bit) to stay focused and not jump on the latest thing when I saw it.

So, it's time for me to reflect on how I did.  Were there goals accomplished?  (Why yes there were; so glad you asked.)

1.  Yoga mat cover  Done!

First finish of the quarter.  It has seen a lot of use already.

2.  Oakie outfit (for the wedding)  Done! 

A more dashing penguin has never graced a wedding like this little guy.  Heard some of his fans at the wedding gasping with pleasure when he presented the rings.

3.  Wedding sewing & crafting  Done!
Had to share: my kids walked me down the aisle

On the appointed date, the wedding was happening, whether the crafty things got done or not.  Almost everything got completed.  Things that didn't get finished were just not important enough to be part of the ceremony, right?

4.  Two rows for Relaxing Robin  Done!
Completed the assigned rows for April and May, but knew I wasn't going to get June finished up.  I did manage to write a tutorial for a block that will be used in the final border, so I'm pretty proud of myself there.

 5.  Rainbow bathrobe  Untouched
Some things just didn't happen.  What can I say?

6.  Mending/hemming for summer wearing  Making progress
There were lots of items in this category, and several new pieces joined the pile as the months passed, so I think I'm actually facing a larger mending backlog than I started with.  But I did hem some pants, tack up a shoulder seam, and close up a hole.

Is it obvious that I don't love hand sewing?

7.  Binding for Sweetie's t-shirt quilt   Done!
Scoff if you will at the brief nature of this goal, but binding does not cut itself out and sew itself on.  Although, having my friend Linda do the hand-tacking portion of the binding did ensure that it got done in record time.

8.  Two blocks for daughter's t-shirt quilt  Done!

A big splash as this quilt got underway.  Sewed monster paper-pieced blocks at a retreat, and called it good for the quarter.  Daughter is looking forward to this quilt becoming more of a focus for me.

Wow, I think I did pretty good!

Interestingly, of course, were the projects that crept in and tried to insinuate themselves into my "work on me!" line of sight.  Namely...

Baby's Book of Computers

OMG, cutest book everrr!  Had a baby birthday party to attend, and I could not resist whipping this pattern up.

Scrappy Bargello Wallhanging

Couldn't have predicted this would become my major focus as the wedding drew near, but there you go.  It was an idea I couldn't get out of my mind, so I gave in and devoted far too much sewing time to this (too much time given there was a wedding to be planned and executed).

Russian Wedding Rings Cowl
My sister surprised me over Memorial Day weekend with a hand-knit cowl in the wedding colors.  I have since started making my own version, using longtime stashed yarns.

Time to start planning for the next quarter.  Maybe this "planning" thing will catch on with me...

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Sulky Sews Cardstock

The wedding sewing is winding down.  Just have hemming of a pair of pants, and tacking the straps on a junior bridesmaid dress left.

But meanwhile, I am abusing my sewing machine: 100 program booklets, bindings sewn on my trusty Singer

Sweetie saw some Pinterest inspiration, and we were off.  With a book-themed wedding, it seemed fitting to put everything we wanted to say to our guests into a "book" instead of a more traditional program.  (And how is this book getting bound?  Why, the sewing girlfriend, of course!)  The booklet ended up being 3 folded half-sheets of paper, plus cardstock covers front and back.  For those keeping count, that's 8+ layers.  My sewing machine did not mind too terribly much. 

Got shiny?  Coats & Clark (left) vs. Sulky
Just switched to a topstitching needle, and used Sulky thread.  I chose the Sulky because the color was so vibrant.  Did not have any troubles with thread breaking or snarling, so I was pleased with my choice.

I like how unique this feels.  Totally "us".

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Scrappy Bargello

Couldn't help myself: I saw a project on someone's blog, went and got the book, and started cutting.  I am on my way into a new quilt.  (What is it about finishing--or even almost finishing--a quilt that gets me to start something else?  Don't I still have a closet full of WIPs and UFOs?)


Can't remember whose recent blog post featured a bargello quilt, but I managed to get the designer's name: Eileen Wright.

I am making the wall-hanging size of Ocean Waves, a basic bargello (at least among this book's designs).

Auditions of blue scraps: 20 fabrics needed
Subtle differences due to sizes of the scraps

And I am doing it in scraps.  Crazy me.  But I am bound and determined to make a dent in my blue scrap bin.

So, the scrappy nature of my endeavor has made the strip piecing a bit more complicated.  But it's all good--I am totally enjoying the process, even though I'm sure it will take me five ten times as long as using width-of-fabric strips would.

I know me: I can complexify anything.

Four rows in and looking mighty fine.

This is my New FO project for June, so I'll be linking up with Barbara at Cat Patches come the end of the month.

Meanwhile, it's Wednesday!  I might as well check out WIP Wednesday over at Freshly Pieced.  Give some love to all those crazy souls who just keep a-startin and a-sewin on endless fabric projects.