Wednesday, June 22, 2011

more goodies

Remember last week when my camera battery died and I promised to get pictures of my last few goodies?  You probably thought I was just stringing you along... but I wasn't (or at least not on purpose).  Here they are!  They're both from Yahgie+Company - they sell sample fat quarters through their Etsy shop (I want to buy them all!!  And Lindsey (I know you're reading this!) check out Eli the Elephant!)
Designer Chairs, organic cotton
Screaming Lady, organic cotton
I am obsessed with the screaming lady!  Any one else out of their gourd with this one?   Is it just me? At first I thought I would make a pillow...maybe give it away, sell it, I don't know...  But I really don't think I can part with this one.  I want to marry the screaming lady!  (Ok, the novelty of this chick might wear off if it's an exceptionally loud, prolonged scream...or if she's making "the most annoying sound in the world" from Dumb and Dumber...I might not be able to live with her after all....scratch the marriage thing...I want to be friends with her and live in separate houses...)  Anyway, now I'm thinking I should use this to make myself a giant bag...anyone have a pattern in mind? 

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

my favorite day of the year

Today is my favorite day of the whole entire year.  It's the first day of summer - I love the summer - I love the heat!  It's the longest day of the year (yes, I know that's because it's the first day of summer - you know, that whole solstice thing...but to me, those are separate reasons for happiness).  And best of all, it's our wedding anniversary!! Woohoo!

We've been doing the traditional anniversary gift thing...so first year, fancy stationary.  Last year was cotton so I made my honey bunny a quilt (I know, it seems pretty obvious now that I'm writing about it on a quilting blog...but I cannot believe how long it took me to come up with that idea at the time!...)  As soon as I decided on a quilt, I knew I would make this one that I saw on the Purl Bee.  Although I was in love with the bright colors, I wanted it to be something we could use on our bed (so something that would blend with our wall color) and something a little manlier since it was, in fact, a gift for a man.  Just as I was starting to plan my color scheme, we visited friends in London.  That's right, you guessed it - I made my way over to Liberty and drooled all over their fabrics (I turned them drool-sides towards the back before putting them back on the shelves so no one would notice and kick me out of that fabric playground).  I came home with about 6 prints and 2 coordinating solids, then rounded out the rest with finds from my stash and my local quilt shop (some of these I love more than others...but that's just how it goes!).

I pieced and basted the whole quilt in secret, which was really hard to do since it's gigantic...while Chris was in class (1 night a week) or at the gym (1 other night a week) I would quickly pull everything out, work as fast as I could, and then scurry to hide all of my scraps and pins and a whole quilt before he walked in the door...I had a few close calls.  And if you want a nice smooth quilt back, I would not recommend basting 10% of it, ripping it up off the floor, wadding it up in a ball, and then trying to lay it all out again the next time...  As is stands now, there are a couple of things I would do differently...like add more quilting (and make the back nice and smooth...)...but Chris says no - it's his quilt and he wants it to stay the way it is!  So this is it:
Cotton Anniversary

Seriously, it's huge...you can't even see the row of grays on the bottom.  I'm hoping to pull this puppy out again this weekend, hang it over the deck railing and get some pics of the full quilt (any maybe minus all the shadows!).  I know, you would think that over the course of an entire year, I could manage to take more than these couple of photos...but it was living happily on our bed and so we let it fulfill its quilt destiny in peace.  (Lucy does not believe in letting a quilt live in peace...but that story will have to wait for another day...)

Today marks our third fantabulous year of wedded bliss!  So happy anniversary to my twin soul, my one true love! 
Wedding Photos by Making the Moment - these guys were amazing!  Check them out if you need a photographer in the Cleveland area!
I'm looking forward to the next gazillion years of being your ball & chain! (We're going to get REALLY old together!)

Thursday, June 16, 2011

To my loving husband...

....my amazing, supportive, best-husband-in-the-world, better half.  Please don't have a heart attack when you read this...or a stroke...

But lookie what I got this week!
Mmmmm....so pretty!

The pink flowers are for the back of the Marshmallow Brochette Quilt Along quilt.  (Nancy Mims, Pick a Bunch, Poppies in Sunflower...yea for low impact dyes and organic goodness!)  These are the squares for the quilt top.

(I made them about 3 weeks ago and just took pictures today!...picture taking is clearly my rate-limiting step with this whole blog thing...)
Next up, some super-yummy Prince Charming by Tula Pink.   Oh, I love them so.  (I may have petted them...don't judge)  I am so in love with these frogs, I can't even pick a favorite color scheme.
Frog Prince

And don't even get me started on the turtle!...
Turtle Bay
And finally, this delicious pack of Heather Ross goodies. 

I got them here and they came in the cutest little bundles tied with string...I almost didn't want to untie them...ok, that's a lie.  I just wanted to capture their cuteness forever in a picture before pulling all the pieces out and gazing at them lovingly.  I have to confess, I already had a little piece of the goldfish in bags...

but I really need more if I'm going to fussy cut each fish...I'm not sure that I WILL fussy cut each one, but I like to keep my options open.   And I have big plans for a little houses quilt (like this one)...so I will probably need (yes, NEED) some garden gnomes, bikes, and VW buses.


I do have two more little treasures but my camera battery died just as I was finishing up with the goldfish...(sigh).  It's just as well though...I can give my honey bunny a little time to recover from my spending spree!...

Monday, June 13, 2011

the demise of dinner

I'm not going to lie.  I usually dread Mondays.  I mean, the weekend is so fun...drinking my coffee while I catch up on the 10,000 blogs I follow, vacuuming up the dog hair tumbleweeds in the living room (ok, not necessarily fun, but satisfying...), sewing and quilting and sewing some more... Mondays mean back to work, back to sitting in my car for what feels like a bazillion hours (long commute).  But today wasn't so bad. 

I got home just in time to feed the dogs and work on my job search.  (I may or may not have used some of that time to download Kerry's spreadsheet and look through my Farmer's Wife book.)  The hubs was getting a late start on some work he had to catch up on, and I wasn't in the mood for serious cooking.  Enter Knorr Creamy Pesto.  I don't think anyone would argue that it counts as Italian food, but it's tasty and quick...fine by me!

Just as the pesto was starting to heat up my grandmother called.  I'll admit, sometimes I will not answer the phone if my gourmet meal is within 5 minutes of being done.  But my grandmother isn't much of a phone person, so I thought I might get away with a quick chat..plus, I was making Knorr Creamy Pesto.  I answer the phone, stir the pesto, add pasta to boiling water (I also switch from past to present tense).  I then get distracted with the 10,000 permutations of vacation logistics (3 people, 3-7 day trip...it's practically impossible to pull off...)  I turn back to the stove...the pesto is bubbling and as I stir, I can feel that it started to burn to the bottom of the pot....oh no!  I can see the little brown bits getting mixed in!  Not good!  Then I realize that I never started the timer for the pasta!  I have no sense of time...have we been talking about how to work the fancy airport ticket computer for 4 minutes or half-a-lifetime?  No one knows!  She is still talking...I can't even say that I have to hang up and tend to my gourmet meal!  Ok, I turn the pesto down...I grab the colander, stir and drain the pasta...NO WAIT!  I forgot to taste one to see if it's done!...  I give up and add the pasta to the pesto...I immediately regret not testing the pasta at some point before the big mix.  I taste one...it's not quite done.  Great!  How did I mess this up?!?  My grandmother finally decides that we had a nice talk but she's going to go...she decides this about 4 times before we actually hang up.  I text the hubs so he can lower his expectations for dinner.  I sit down to find a good show to watch while I eat...there is NOTHING on.  So I am watching a documentary about Amish marriage...I had to giggle when the teens, who were out on dates, started racing their buggies!  (Not so different from English boys, eh?) Dinner ended up just this side of edible so I guess all's well that ends well...plus, it's only Knorr Creamy Pesto...

Sunday, June 12, 2011

A Day in the Life

Today I am:

~ organizing my receipts and breaking down costs by project.  I need to be better about keeping track of this stuff!  I'm thinking spreadsheets are in order...oh how I love them! (No, I'm serious - I love spreadsheets!)

~ watching a show about King Tut.  I usually watch crime shows (can't get enough) but I may have already seen every episode of every crime show on tv...so for now, it's King Tut. 

~ tethering myself to my machine until I make some progress on this:
(It got pushed aside last week.  I tried to talk the dogs into helping out with it, but they kept crying about how hard it is without opposable thumbs...so I guess it's up to me to get it finished!)

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Birds of a Feather

Last Saturday I FINALLY sent a quilt off to an amazing girl named Tatum.  Well, I've never met her but I'm pretty sure she's amazing.  Here are my top 3 reasons:

1. Before we started our quilt-making endeavors, she picked out a bunch of fabrics so I would have a sense of her style.  Said fabrics included Bird Tree by Saffron Craig.  What the what?  I couldn't believe that out of the blue (with no prompting from myself), she picked one of my favorite lines!  I had been dying to use these!!

2. She hates pastels.  Now that I'm all growed up, I love pastels .  They're beautiful and soft and make me feel calm.  But when I was her age I put a ban on these pale beauties - I tried to force the ban on my entire family, but I only found success with my own wardrobe.  So I get it....I feel a bond...I like that she has strong feelings about a whole family of colors. 

3. She was a doodle pad for Halloween!

Anyway, a while back I made two quilts from this Moda Bake Shop Recipe. 
bet you can't guess their names!

Tatum decided that she wanted the same general style with her name and a bird or tree in the middle.  So here it is:

I got all of the Bird Tree fabrics...except this one.  Oops!  I didn't get a picture of it, but I made the little birds out of white fabric and did a little raw-edge applique to make my own version on a dark purple background.  And I pieced the back (again!).
(this one was too big to hold up - you can see my head poking through!)
Tatum really likes art and drawing.  So for the quilting I alternated purple and white lines across the quilt, tracing each purple line three times to make it look more like sketching.  Then, I started with the birds.  I made bias-cut strips and sewed it together to make a bias-cut tube for the tree.  For the birds, I made giant versions of Saffron's birds and did more raw-edge applique (and more sketching)....you might be able to see it here:

and here (sorry about the thready mess...we took pictures pre-trimming!...)

In exchange for the quilt, Tatum's mom (Carisa - see her name on the right side of the page?) designed my logo and quilt labels.  Carisa is super-talented!  Check these out:
I printed the labels in a bunch of colors (along with little 2.5" logos) through Spoonflower.  I love, love, love them!!!  Thanks Carisa! 

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Nothing to do but post

Well, I'm sitting in a stairwell at work, waiting out a series of tornado warnings between here and home.  So what better time for a post?  

This quilt is one of my favorites!  I call it Circle 2.  (Hey, look at that...I made a superscript!) 

This quilt was for my friend's daughter.  My friend initially picked Tufted Tweets and we agreed on these circles for the pattern.  Then I suggested changing the circles to ovals to go with the Tweets.  Then she switched the fabric to It's a Hoot (I got most of mine here) and we went back to circles.  (But I was so in love with the oval + Tweets, that I made Kat and the Canary while I was waiting for fabric to arrive !  I'm getting off track though...see what happens when I'm stuck in a stairwell?!?)  I used the trees in green for the backing (you can see that in the picture below, behind the pillow) and plaid in green for the binding. The quilting pattern is concentric circles that radiate out to make concentric diamonds.  You can kinda see it in these pics. Admittedly, I am usually so excited to finish a quilt and send it off to its new family, that I forget to take all of the pictures I will need.  I think I'm going to have to make a checklist for my future photo shoots though!  I will try to be better about this!  


I also made a matching pillow!

And here it is in its new home!  (Isn't the room amazing?!?  I want my friend to decorate my house!)
Oooh, there's a break in the storms and my route has been downgraded to a watch...gotta run!  Hope you like Circle2 !!