Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Blue and yellow on the brain

I'm not sure what started this fixation, but in the past few weeks, I've been drawn to shades of dark/navy blue and yellow.

Navy and yellow

I recently worked on sorting my scraps (they are so out.of.control), and pulled together this stack. Perhaps, for Rachel's Scrap Attack?

New project

I also grabbed these fabrics from the stash last week, and worked on a new project this weekend. Here, we have some Dear Stella (I love those stars!), Joel Dewberry Woodgrain from Aviary 2, and Sundae Stripe in gray (or grey) from Moda Ruby.

After pulling that stack, I started cutting pieces for the AMH Student Tote. I've had this pattern for months, and decided to start a just-for-fun project.

AMH Student Tote

I'm making the smaller size tote, and almost finished the exterior. In addition to the fabrics in my original stack, I added the Cosmo Cricket crosshatch and a Sandi Henderson Secret Garden print. I had those zippers in the stash (I love the copper red one, especially!). Hopefully, this will get finished quickly, as I have a little out-of-town trip coming up!

Monday, January 30, 2012

Happy mail, part two

Do you know Chicken Julie? She is amazing, as evidenced here. We met on flickr a few years back, and I've adored her ever since. We decided to do a little swap last year, because she wanted some fingerless mitts. She made me a little mini and a tee-shirt for Oliver.

We decided to swap again, and she blew. me. away.

From Jules: Selvage Mini

Just look at the loveliness.

The way she uses selvages is so inspiring. I love the plus/cross design she created with her rainbow pieces.

Closeup: ChickenJulie Selvage Mini

And look at the quilting. Just look!

As if the mini wasn't enough, Julie also sent along some extras:

The extras

She made some matching selvage potholders, an adorable black and white fabric, some homemade washi tape, and some jam (not pictured)!

Jules, you are awesome! I sent her package out today, and I'll share that with you later this week!

*Total tangent, but I looked up the proper spelling of selvage/selvedge. Apparently, both are correct! I always wondered. Selvage is the US version of the word, and selvedge is the British equivalent. Who knew??

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Happy mail, part one

This was a week of ups and downs, but I've been lucky to have some happy mail this week. Surprise mail always brings a smile to my face! It's nice to see something other than bills occasionally! First up, on Wednesday, after getting home super late, I received two surprise packages (and a fabric package, *cough cough*!).

The first was from Ella. You may remember the Bohus Pillow I made for her in December.

A surprise from Ella!

She found these adorable Munki Munki pajamas at Marshall's and got me a pair! Fabulous! I think that headband is especially awesome!

The second package was from Sharon, one of my Sewing Summit peeps.

Package from Sharon

She sent this fun gift, with a frog tape measure, stitch markers, a handmade pouch (made by another friend), and a coffee cozy she knit using the stitch pattern from my scarf pattern!

Brown Sheep sock yarn from Sharon

She also sent this beautiful sock yarn. It's Brown Sheep Company yarn. I didn't look at the details yet, but it feels like 100% wool.

Thanks to both of you for having perfect timing!!

Friday, January 27, 2012

Linky loos for you

Happy Friday to you! Thanks to you all for the comments on "My Word".

So, I'm excited for the weekend. Tomorrow, there will be (cup)cake tasting and flower picking (or selection, rather. I'm not actually going out in the fields to pick flowers...). Here's a random collection of links for you. I'll be back soon with several knitting FOs, and some sewing, too!

I want to knit this so badly.

I love these hoops by Lucky Jackson. She does one each day. Such a fun project!

I want to make this soup. Yum!

Speaking of food, this is one of my new favorite food blogs.

Still speaking of food, I highly recommend this cookbook. I've already tried a couple of the recipes, and I've always enjoyed her blog. Tasty stuff!

I'm going to be stitching this soon!

I'm in love with Shapemoth's latest creation, for the FTLOS swap. She was my partner last round and made me this:

FTLOS: Received!!!

She's so talented!

Lastly, enjoy this by The Staves (only audio). They opened for the Civil Wars last Friday, and they are fabulous.

Have a great weekend, crafty peeps! I hope you get to do fun things!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

My word

I've never designated a focus word for the year. I know many bloggers do, and I always enjoy reading these posts, but it always seems impossible to pick just one word.
But last night, as I was falling asleep, it popped into my head.

Voice.

Seriously creepy yawn

VOICE.

You see, I've always had trouble speaking up for myself. I'm so non-confrontational, it's absurd. I'd rather be a little uncomfortable or inconvenienced, than to have to upset or disappoint someone else.

This is okay, to an extent.
Yet, I'm starting to find that voice. In two instances this year, one small and one big, I've spoken up for myself.
Perhaps it's turning 30 that gives me more courage, or maybe I've just decided enough is enough. Either way, I feel a surge of pride when I think of these two events, especially the bigger one.

I'm also hoping to strengthen my blogging voice this year. I have all of these ideas and plans, but don't have the time to execute them. I'm going to try to work on that this year as well.

Monday, January 23, 2012

A little of everything

While I still think setting the wedding date sooner rather than later was smart, I really miss my low-obligation weekends. Spare sewing/knitting time has been scarce these days, but I've managed to make a little progress.

FO: Rosy Pillowcases

I made some flannel pillowcases this week. I picked up this lovely Anna Maria Horner flannel from Pink Castle Fabrics. Luckily, my friend Chris (who I get to see in a few weeks!!) sent me a large scrap of another AMH flannel, which I used on part of the cuffs for a little contrast.

Book stash

I've accumulated quite the collection of sewing/quilting books! The top few were Christmas gifts, and some of the bottom ones are from my grandmother's stash. There are a lot of fun projects and techniques that I hope to try someday soon! In this photo, you can also see my growing AMH Good Folks collection. I just adore this line, and have been lucky to find pieces here and there, through swaps and etsy purchases.

Progress: Windschief Hat

I've been knitting on a few gift projects. I have two knitting FOs that I can't share until they're received, so it should be a couple of weeks for those. BUt this hat is destined for Elliott's mom. She asked for a knitted hat, and I just couldn't refuse. I'm using some Sundara Aran Merino (from a holiday gift bag). This yarn is beautiful! I love the slight variations in color, and the texture is lovely. The pattern is Stephen West's Windschief. I've already started the decreases, so I should have it finished soon.

Fluffy Bella

And a little Bella action to complete this post.

I wish you all a good week!
I vow to have my list of 2012 goals up before the end of the week!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Stash enhancement and a dgs block

I've gotten lazy about photographing new stash, but I have a couple of new things to share.

Spoonflower FQs

I picked up two fat quarters in the Spoonflower Buy One, Get One sale late last year. Both designs are by Holli Zollinger, and I LOVE her fabrics. I'll probably have to pick up some more of her designs later this year.

Stash enhancement

I also picked up some favorite fat quarters from two new(ish) lines: Domestic Bliss by Liz Scott (the designer of Sugar Pop, which was part of the fabric used for my Wonky Bee quilt last year) and Amy Butler's Lark. I LOVE the colors of the Domestic Bliss line, and the green lanterns from Lark are a favorite print right now.

In bee news, I've joined a new bee (crazy, I know) called Bee a Modern Swapper. It's an interesting setup. Every other month, it's a regular quilting bee with two blocks due, but the in-between months have optional small swaps that you can participate in, or not! For the first part of the year, I'll opt out of those swaps, but after the wedding, I may join in!

In do.Good Stitches, the Love circle made herringbone blocks for Rachel using her tutorial, which you can find here. This was a fun block, a little challenging at first, but very thoroughly explained. And the result is awesome!

December dgs block

I made a second block that I wasn't planning to send (it was just a little short), but Rachel said she'd find a use for it, so off it went!

I plan to revisit this block at some point. Very fun!

Monday, January 16, 2012

Wedding stuff

As you can already tell, I'm not going to be posting tons of wedding stuff. I'm not sure everyone wants to hears about it, but I thought I would share a little info for those who are interested.

The winner!

I found a dress recently (pictured here with Jill and Jenny, my maid and matron of honor), and we've set an April date, as in 2012. So, that's happening SOON. Crazy soon.

A lot of details are taken care of. I found a venue that takes care of things like tables, chairs, linens, plates, etc. They also provide the food, so after the menu is finalized, that will be done as well.

My sister commented that I'm more into the planning than she thought I would ever be, but I definitely don't see any bridezilla moments in my future. ;)

Jill has been such a great sister and maid of honor. Yesterday, she took engagement pictures for us. I haven't seen them all yet, but here's a favorite.

I've definitely noticed a shift in my free time (i.e. crafting time). I have been working on a few secret knit projects that I can share soon. I've also had a few other things in progress that I'll be able to share soon.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

WIPs to finish

Like most of you crafters, I want to make all of the things! I tweeted the other day that I feel directionally challenged when it comes to crafting.
I feel pulled to several projects and crafts. To find some direction, I first want to document my list of outstanding WIPs.

There are a few I'm not listing, but these are the items I most desire to finish.

Knitting

CPH Progress

First up, the embarrassing 3.5-year-old Central Park Hoodie. I'm so painfully close to finishing. All it needs is for me to finish picking up the second side of stitches and knit that button band. Then, seaming.

Progress: Gray Skies Cardigan

Second, the Gray Skies Cardigan. This one is another nearly-finished sweater. I think I have one partial sleeve to finish and seaming.
COME ON.

I've also got two single socks that need buddies.

I'm also close to finishing my Stripe Study shawl.

Quilting

I have four quilts-in-progress at the moment.

Top halves complete!

There's Single Girl, which I haven't touched since April.

Progress: Bottled Rainbows

There's Bottled Rainbows. I've completed four of the sixteen blocks, and this is a long-term project. I like to do a block every now and then, but it would be rad to finish this before the end of the year. The bright side is that it's quilt as you go, so, once the top is complete, the rest should go really quickly.

Progress: Rain or Shine

There's Rain or Shine, which is probably the closest to being finished. I only have six more blocks to make for the top. I've actually been working on this one for the past few days. I'll have an updated progress photo to share soon.

And of course, there is Swoon.

Second Swoon

I've made six out of nine blocks, which you can see in my Swoon flickr set. Lucky for me (and you!), Katy has assembled a group of (300+) quilters for a Swoon-along! Feel free to join in on the fun and make your own Swoon!

In the next few days, I'm going to share my additional goals for 2012. But you can surely expect to see progress on these nine projects in the upcoming months!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

2011 Favorites

I enjoyed compiling this list last year, and I thought I'd do it again.
So, here are some of my favorite things from 2011:

Favorite Fabric Line:

New stash: Outside Oslo
I love Outside Oslo, and used it on two projects (one of which, I carry every day!)

Favorite Album: Civil Wars-Barton Hollow and Death Cab for Cutie-Codes and Keys

Favorite sewing project of mine:

FO: Mom's Mini Geese Quilt
The flying geese mini I made for my mom

Favorite new movie: I didn't see many movies in the theater, but I had fun watching Scott Pilgrim vs. the World this year. Fun and nerdy.

Favorite TV Show: I've recently been hooked on Fringe, thanks to Brooke and Amanda

Favorite Bella picture:

Bella

Favorite Olias picture:

No pictures, please.

Favorite crafting moment:

SGS Scarf
Sharing my first pattern

Favorite new-to-me blogs: Ellison Lane and
Needle and Spatula

Favorite new recipes: Smitten Kitchen's Roast Chicken with Dijon Sauce and

New favorite: Brown Sugar Cookies
Brown Sugar Cookies

Monday, January 9, 2012

FO: Fenced Foxes

FO: Fenced Foxes

I seriously love this quilt. The pattern, from Elizabeth Hartman's book, is called Fenced In.

FO: Fenced Foxes

It was very easy to size this down for a baby quilt, but I skipped adding the outside border. I used only Lizzy House Outfoxed prints, purchased from Pink Castle.

FO: Fenced Foxes

I also used stash solids, including Kona Corn Yellow (back), Kona Stone and three greens (not sure which ones) for the binding. I used an emerald green Gutermann thread for the quilting.

Old friends

I think Jessica really loved the new quilt, and it was so much fun seeing old friends at the shower yesterday. From left to right, Kristen, Jessica, me, Julie and Laurie. I've known all but Laurie since elementary school, where we were all girl scouts together! Laurie went to our high school, too.

FO: Fenced Foxes

I know baby Wyatt will enjoy his quilt!

Friday, January 6, 2012

FO: Nicke's Curvy Echo

It seems strange that I only met Nicke last year. We've become such good pals, and it feels like I've known her longer. I say "known", but we have not yet met in person. I think that will happen this year, though!

We recently agreed to do a swap, and she received her package last week.

FO: Nicke's Curvy Echo

Like most of the sewing and quilting community, Nicke fell hard for Lotta Jansdotter's line, Echo. I've fallen hard for this fabric, too. There's no question of that! I've already purchased some for myself to make a fun new project! Oh, but back to Nicke's pillow! This was not my first time sewing curves, as evidenced by my lingering Single Girl (I desperately want to finish that this year!).

Detail: Nicke's Curvy Echo

For Nicke's pillow, I used some templates my grandmother shared with me from her stash. It was an old package, with two sizes of Drunkard's Path templates, and also, a clamshell template, which I am still investigating.

This was a perfect excuse to do more curvy sewing, which is fun and impressive!

FO: Nicke's Curvy Echo

My favorite part of this pillow is the yellow stitching. My mom gave me a fun box of assorted Guttermann thread for Christmas (too bad, but it's no longer on sale!), and this happy yellow was crying out to be used. The pillow is envelope-style, and I backed it with some It's a Hoot Chocolate brown dot fabric from the stash.

I knew Nicke would be thrilled, because I didn't want to give this pillow away, which is always an indication of a good gift! I will share what Nicke sends me in return when the time comes!

Oh, p.s., if you are intimidated by curvy sewing, you should check out Rachel's new class!

I hope you all have a fun weekend!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Hello, 2012

Well, hello! I hope 2012 is treating you well so far. I have a lot of things to share with you. First up, I met a blog friend last week.

I met Rue!

Rue was in Texas last week, so I made the drive up to New Braunfels to meet her in person! We agreed that after talking online for so long, it was a little weird to be sitting across from one another. She's so sweet, and her little Tadpole is even cuter in person. And look at that completed Stripe Study she's wearing! Mine still isn't finished, but I am working on the border, so it shouldn't be too much longer!

I'm so glad I got the chance to meet her!

I've been working on a baby gift. My first best friend ever is having a baby this month. Her shower is this weekend, so I finally started on her present last week.

Starting something new

I'm making her a Fenced In quilt from Elizabeth Hartman's book. And of course, I am using the adorable Outfoxed prints by Lizzy House. Love!

Quilting!

I finished the quilting this weekend, and the binding has been pinned. I should be able to finish in time!

I'm also moving ahead with some wedding plans! I found a venue this weekend, which is really setting things into place! I'll share more on that soon.

Have a great week, everyone!

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