Friday, June 1, 2012

Gone to WordPress

I'm increasingly less pleased with the changes that Blogger keeps applying, and am working with WordPress at work now. I'm enjoying the WordPress dashboard once again, and have actually had my blog imported over there for quite a while.

I'm not quite done sprucing up the place over there, but it's mostly done. Please join me at

I'll leave this blog up for a bit yet, but will be deleting this version of my blog come July1.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

BOM Quilt Design

I'm an overachiever.

I'm an overachiever, and I like to take the less-beaten path.



Yes, I am insane.


Insanity, this time, led me to being determined to come up with a unique setting for the Botanical BOM blocks I'm making with the Stitch 'N' Bitch group.

Much easier said than done, obviously, as my mind regarded the blocks with a kind of blank pseudo-interest that said, "I'll make you. You're pretty," and left the blocks in pile in the corner of my mind, nary a quilt top design to be seen. In fact, my mind then went skipping off into making scrappy blocks, no matter how much I tried to rein it in.

And then a light shone in the darkness!

The mail carrier brought me latest Hancock's of Paducah fabric catalog! For a few days, my mental self crouched in a corner clutching the catalog, stroking each page, muttering, "My preciouses..."

I'm pretty sure had I looked into a mirror, I would have been balding and grey, with saucer discs for eyes better suited to a cave-dwelling lemur.

As I stared at the pages, an image advertising a quilt top/kit caught my (saucer) eye. The Women of Courage BOM quilt top made me stop and think.

And then I reached for my laptop.

Botanical BOM Complete Quilt Ver 2

I still need to find two more botanical themed blocks for the lower corners. I also am playing around with the idea of changing out the blocks that comprised that central 'plus sign'. However, I'm sticking with that pop of aqua. The quilt definitely needs it.

We'll see how much this design evolves as I stare at it!

Sunday, May 27, 2012

More BOM Blocks

I wanted to get as many of these blocks done as as I could this weekend. Why? Because I have a design in mind! And I want to see it come to fruition. However, I felt scummy all Saturday, and spent most of the day napping.

I got a grand total of two blocks done, and one of those was a remake, so I really only ended up one block ahead of where I was. Still, I have tomorrow off!

Shasta Daisy, Version Two and still too small!

Yup, that's right. My second attempt  at Shasta Daisy was undersized. It came out too big the first time because I used my other sewing machine, which automatically sews a scant quarter inch seam. So, using that sewing machine, with the 'rounded up' directions from EQ7 resulted in a block that was too big. This second attempt was using my normal machine, which sews an exact quarter inch seam, using the 'rounded down' directions from EQ7. Yeah, 'nuff said, right?

I'll go back tonight and make the correctly sized version tonight.

Moss Rose

Once again, all prints are from Joann's. I love the whimsy of this particular gray print. Slightly undersized, because of the needle-placement versus instructions snafu, but I made enough adjustments while cutting to cover it.

And, of course, once I'd completed this block, I happened across a stash of about six gray and yellow prints that I'd purchased earlier in the year. Now I really want to piece more blocks, to get more variety into this top.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Catching Up

Earlier this year, the Stitch 'N' Bitch group started a new block of the month, designed by Sandi of Piecemeal Quilts. This year's theme is 'botanical', meaning the twelve blocks we make for it will all relate to flora.

I've been collecting fabrics that have black, yellow, gray and white in them for about two years, spurred on by the Eclipse fabric line by Exclusively Quilters. This particular BOM seemed like the project to finally use them.

I forget how far we're actually in - we didn't get started right away with the New Year, but I chugged ahead in a rush and got five blocks done. Well, four, really, because I have to re-do one.


The yellow fabric is from Eclipse. The gray is a print I picked up at Joann's.

Tangled Briars

All three prints in this block are from Eclipse.

Prickly Pear

Both prints are from Walmart. They're not as crisp as the other prints, but they'll blend in the final product.


The gray stripe is from Joann's, and the yellow print is from the Eclipse line.

Shasta Daisy

This is the one I have to re-make. It's (somehow) one inch too big all around, and I didn't rotate the white and black nine-patch sub-units correctly. All fabrics a re from Joann's.

I've also (finally) decided on a setting that I want to use, but it provides setting places for a total of seventeen blocks. This is cool. I just need to pick and choose those five more botanical  themed blocks. Also, I ordered Stash Spring 2010, because the Eclipse line is in that EQ7 collection, and it was on sale. So, very soon, I'll be able to color in my design with my actual fabric.


And, yes, I know that I could have scanned the fabrics in, and made my own previews. I always have issues with large scale prints when I do that. So there ;)

Thursday, May 24, 2012

I Finally Sewed Something!

I've been on a small sewing hiatus. I started a new creative writing venture that has pretty much eaten my brain since the beginning of the month. However, I'm ready to take a step back from that brain spawn and get back to quilting and patchwork.

Also, the flash on my camera decided to randomly start working. *shrugs* Whatever. Just so long as I can take photos to post here. That's all I care about.

So, anyway, I sewed, and actually have a few more items to show off, but wasn't taking any more photos at 3:00 AM this morning (I've been suffering from insomnia lately). I joined a scrappy bee:

Our first recipient is May, of Confessions of a Fabraholic. Being the sleepless overachiever that I am, I made two versions of her block:
Stargazing 1
Version 1
Stargazing 2
Version 2 - In which the photo is blurry, but I refused to re-take it at 3:00 AM >.<

I'll be the first to admit that I'm not big on the whole wonky thing, but these blocks are cute. I think my first attempt came out way better than attempt two, but they're both going in the mail!

O.o I have to decide what to do for my month. My brain is just not coming up with a plan. However, I can at least get a bit ahead on blocks. I've a three day weekend coming up, and a lot of sewing I want to do.

I'm hoping to get at least one more post in today... I want to show off my Stitch 'n' Bitch BOM blocks.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Breaking My Silence

April has been an interesting month! I don't think I've ever spent so much time sick.

I started the month with a rotten cold - so rotten I should have stayed home from work, but didn't because my direct supervisor was on vacation. That lasted a week. I had a lingering, terrible cough in the weeks since.

I was finally in the stages of kicking the cough and reclaiming my health last week. I even went to the gym and increased my resistance on all the weight devices, as well as my level on the reclining bike. I felt awesome, as long as my esophagus cooperated and let me go without coughing.

I even hopped on the dieting wagon, and starting tracking my calories. I'm attempting to stay between 1200 and 1500 calories per day. It's been surprisingly easy to do so. My normal eating habits aren't terrible to start with. I just needed to reduce some of the carb intake and manage my protein better. I'd already been cutting the junk food out, because it's really just stupidly expensive for junk food, and no one in my family needs it. The occasional treat is all right, but we can make healthier, tastier treats at home!

I made it through two sewing days (yay!) and got started on the Stich N' Bitch BOM project. It's so pretty! I'm so happy! I even picked up the pieces on the Skill Builder Series Sampler. It's not a lot - about four blocks into the BOM, and just components into the Sampler. Really, really, really pathetic considering how gangbusters I was last month.

Then, yesterday... Well, all right. Tuesday at about 4:00 PM - my body decided to rebel.  My tonsils got swollen. I started feeling like I was attempting to swallow glass shards. My muscles started aching.

I tried to live in denial for a little bit. It was difficult. Hubby claimed he'd started experiencing the same symptoms the day before. I ended up waking up several times Tuesday night, feeling progressively colder and worse. Sometime around 4:45 AM I realized that there was no way in bloody hell I was making it into work.

So, yesterday morning, I texted my supervisor, letting him know I wouldn't be in. And then hubby, kiddo and I all trundled off to Urgent Care, with grandma in tow to keep an eye on Zeb while hubby and I got checked out.

Turns out, all three of us have strep throat. Yeah... I blame the trip hubby and Zeb took to the Madison Zoo, as strep has shown up in the family they went to the zoo with. I'd blame work, but I'm in an office by myself most of the day, despite being on a college campus.

So, yeah, here I am. It's almost the end of the month, and I've got very little to show for it.

Oh, and no pics. My camera's broken for my birthday. I already told the hubby that I want a new camera. I just have to decide on a model.

On the weight loss front... I'm down to 215 pounds, down from 220. It's slow going, but it'll so be  worth it!!

Monday, April 2, 2012

Fresh Sewing Day, April 2012 Edition

April Fresh Sewing Mosaic

Um... I made a crazy number of blocks in March. Thirty-three of them! I also finished three hexie flowers, and basted enough hexagons for another five. The photos show five completed flowers only because I'd never bothered to photograph them before (at least that I remember).

In addition, I received the fabrics to participate in another quilt-along, Sandi's Ironwork* Quilt Along. She colored her sample in oranges and purples, and I suckered myself into spending the money and diving in. I also decided on colors and some fabrics for the Stitch N' Bitch BOM project - I'm going to finally do more than pet and stare at my Eclipse fabrics. I did some more work on my Double Wedding Ring piecing - lots more to do, but at least I did some sewing on it.

In the meantime, I've got the bits and pieces for a new project started. I have a lot of HSTs left over from piecing for The Farmer's Wife sampler, since I'm using strip methods. The plan is to use them, and scraps leftover from the neutrals used in the blocks to make a mini.

I got some new storage for my fabric! An office was being cleaned out at work, and I wandered in during the proceedings. The most awesome vintage and multi-colored cabinet was there! I claimed it on the spot.

Vintage Cabinet
Only after getting it home did I discover that the shelf slides out, making everything accessible. And, it locks!

Storage Solutions
I swear, that little feature is the best. Kiddo can't get into the thread any more!

I'll end up re-painting this  beast at some time the future - but not all one color, and only when I have some yard space so that I can sand and prime it first. Unfortunately, house hunting is going to have to
wait, even though I qualified for an awesome home loan - hubby's car decided to throw its exhaust and catalytic converter. I refuse to drop $500+ on parts into the thing, so we're going to look at vehicles tomorrow.

Lily's Quilts
Check out what everyone else has posted for Fresh Sewing Day at Lily's Quilts!