Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Done, Done, DONE!!!


My happy dance is a conga. *Happy Conga!!!* I finished 6 Christmas stockings. And it's not December 24th!!!
 I tried to modify some store bought stockings last year. It did NOT work out. They were cheap, and I didn't have a sewing machine yet, so I did everything by hand. I finished 3 out of 4. Guess which one did not get finished? Mine. :o( So with my new found love of sewing/quilting, and my old Craft Monster to cheer me through, I made 6 this year. Four for my immediate family, and one each for my mom and brother. There's a few things I'm not super happy with, like the cuff is too small...the font is too small, and the embellishments got caught up on the seam. But they're finished. And I made them. :o) I used Cluck Cluck Sew's tutorial on Purple Panda Quilts and random Christmas fabric from JoAnn (that was deliciously on sale). It's super easy! Now that I've tried them this way, I may try the lined version next time.
Now to find gifts to fill them with!!!

P.S. Sorry, I don't know how to flip the pictures when I'm taking them straight from my camera. Stretch out your neck muscles and turn your head to the side. I'm sure you need to de-stress anyway. :o)

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Ornaments.... DONE!

Add one more finish to the list! I've finished 10 quilted Christmas ornaments. And it's not Dec 24th!!! Take THAT Craft Monster! :o)

I haven't kept track how long it's taken me to finish them. I know that I usually did them during marathon sewing sessions, aka Friday nights. Last Friday was all about making and pinning all the binding to the blocks. Then yesterday I was meaning to only sew one side of the binding on, but that first part is the hardest and when it's over, it's just a bit longer to actually finish the whole thing! Which is also why I was up until 11 pm. :o/  BUT they're finished! I just have to assign them to individual kids and write on the back my little dedication to them. "For so-and-so, Christmas 2011, Love, (Tia)Vio". Loving isn't it? :o) I was planning on appliqueing each kid's initial on the back, but that would have looked weird with the quilting. A permanent pen is also a lasting love. :o)

I used charm squares for the backs. They look like a bunch of pot holders. :o)
These two are my favorites. They might have to go to my two children. :o)






Next: 6 Christmas stockings, binding my niece's quilt, starting on my daughter's quilt and possibly my nephew's. Oh, and my husband bought me Lego Harry Potter: Years 5-7 for my birthday last month (yes, I know I'm not 13) and I want to start playing it! When I'm focused on one thing, I go all out. I know that if I start playing Harry Potter, I won't sew until I beat the game! So Craft Monster, let's get through Christmas first, then we can Expelliarmus to our heart's content. Deal? :o)

Sunday, November 27, 2011

2 month round up.

I finally have some time to catch up on my blogging, so I'll try to fill you in on what went on craft-wise during Sept, Oct, and most of Nov. Wow... that was a long time! I did actually work on projects, I just didn't blog about them. Bad Vio.

My quilt class went well. I was trying to think of a summary of what went on, what I learned, etc. and my first thought was "I didn't learn anything!! I already knew everything, I was just there." Silly me. That's not true at all! I *thought* I knew everything because I've been reading blogs like crazy, looking at all sorts of tutorials, etc. But aside from piecing my charm squares together, I hadn't really done anything. What this class did was give me 3 hours at a time where I could devote myself to piecing and actually putting into practice everything I thought I knew.
Our quilts are samplers made up of 7 types of blocks: rail fence, 9 patch, 9 patch variation, square dance, friendship star, flying geese and log cabin.  I was able to do the first 4 pretty easily, without much instruction besides what size to cut. The friendship star was my first stumble. I pieced it incorrectly and had to rip out the stitches. I love the colors I used so that kept me happy. I knew I wanted to see how the instructor made flying geese since there are at least 4 different ways to do it. And the log cabin actually had me lost for a bit. But I worked through them and I really enjoyed making all the blocks. My finished blanket is 5 blocks by 5 blocks with a 1" inner border and a 4" outer border ( I think). I used the fabric I showed earlier.
I was a little concerned at first because all the other ladies chose really nice subtle colors: one had Fall rusty colors, another had browns, reds and creams, one lady chose only yellows and corn flower blue,and another chose Hometown by Sweet Water for Moda. My colors were almost blinding! The instructor kept pointing it out each time I showed her a block. It got almost to the point where I wasn't sure if she liked them or if she was really aghast at them. I started to doubt in my choices, which is not a very nice thing at all. After I put them all together, though, I REALLY like my finished project.

 I pieced the back with a square dance block and strips of all the fabric I used in the quilt.

 I did grid quilting on point in the main blocks, just stitched in the ditch for the inner border and free motion on the outer border following the flowers on the pattern.





 I love the final result!!! I just hope my sister does too. All I have left is the binding. I bought white polka dots on dark gray fabric. I think that will tie everything up nicely. :o)


Oh, and I even made a quilt label. I'll have to hand stitch that one in once I finish the binding. I'd like to have it done by Christmas, but I have 2 other projects with Christmas deadlines that MUST be completed first. :o)

I thought I had a lot more going on, craft-wise, in the last couple of months, but I guess this was the biggest thing! I've posted about my place mats (finished!), I'm working on ornaments and Christmas stockings... I have all the fabric I need for my daughter's quilt... and the main fabrics for my nephew's quilt (which I bought with a gift certificate I won to the Fat Quarter Shop thanks for Lee from Freshly Pieced). That only leaves 5,783 other projects to do! Unless Craft Monster gets some more ideas. :o)

I finished!!

I finished my place mats!!! *Happy Dance!!!* It helps so much to have a dedicated sewing area where I don't have to take anything down. Well, that and sewing for about 8 hours with few interruptions. :o) I thank my husband for that one. Since our dining room table was clean from Thanksgiving dinner, I just sewed my little heart out yesterday until dinner time. Then I saw that Celebrity Ghost Stories was new, and I had to watch. *Guilty pleasure* I was able to leave everything out and pick it back up this morning. And 6 bindings later.... I finished!!!! I'm so excited. One, because it's not Christmas Eve and I'm finishing them as family is arriving for dinner. And two, because I now have time for my other projects so that I may (hopefully) finish those before Christmas Day, too.

I have 10 ornaments that are ready to be quilted. Hopefully I'll finish those today.

I made these with leftover charm squares from my place mats and a border from a few fat quarters I picked up. There are 5 with a pinwheel center and 5 with a diamond center. I'm not sure if that block has a name.  :o)

And now....the place mats!!!!!
I used my two favorite fabrics to back 6 place mats each. (Sorry, I don't know their names, and would rather not go searching for them. They're both part of the Flurry line, though) I love the one on the left because it's very whimsical, and it combines pink and blue with the traditional reds and greens of Christmas. And the one on the right reminds me of all the Christmases we spent in Mexico when I was young. Poinsettias always do, for some reason. :o)

I should mention that I did a machine binding on all of them. No hand stitching whatsoever. Maybe because I'm a little intimidated, but probably because it's so much easier! About two days after my first binding trial, AmandaJean at crazymomquilts posted this and her results kind of, sort of equaled mine (but hers were WAY better) so I felt like I was doing it the right way. I don't mind that the sewing line shows on the back. Who's going to be looking at the back of the place mats anyway?  ;o)

Okay, I think that's it! I want to upload my pictures to Kate Spain's flickr group for Flurry projects, quilt those ornaments, and get started on the super last minute Christmas stockings that I decided would be a good idea. Like I didn't already have 6 trillion projects going on. Thanks a lot Craft Monster. ;o)

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Oh goodness...

I started writing a post about a two weeks ago when I realized how long it had been since my last one. I was trying to summarize my quilt class as well as any other sewing I'd done. Well, because I was trying to fit so much, I had to stop and get back to it. It's been so long, and with Thanksgiving going on, I just haven't finished. Anyway, I just wanted to say that I'm still going strong. I may not sew all the time, but I now have 3 projects to finish before Christmas. I just have 6 out of 12 place mats to finish binding and my first project will be finished. :o) I'll have to dedicate some time soon to finish that pending post and put up some pictures. Toodles!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

ROAR! (...or Second Wind)

My Craft Monster has been busy!! (That title is him/her? waking up.)Well, busy adding to my list of things to do, not actually *doing* anything. Silly Monster. It's gotten to where I need to write a list of who I'm making things for and STOP buying fabric. I can only do so much at a time. I've had a couple of weeks now where I did some shopping and researching of patterns and ideas, but didn't do much in the actual construction or sewing of quilts. I should be ashamed. But I'm not. :o) I have reasons.

Excuse #1: My daughter started school on the First, so that was pretty exciting. My baby is in kindergarten! It was my first First Day of School as a parent. I held up pretty well. :o) My daughter had a little bit of a breakdown. She was super excited for school, but her teacher speaks Spanish, and she doesn't, so that put a wrench in the excitement. She is in a Dual Language program where they will spend 50% of their school day immersed in the Spanish language (no translation whatsoever) and 50% in English. There is an equal amount of native speakers of each language mixed in both classes so the kids can help each other. The goal is bi-literacy and bi-lingual(ness?) by the end of the program, which runs through 6th grade. I was born in Mexico, I spent my first 10 years there, and I am ashamed to say my children do not speak Spanish. :o( I'm hoping this program can help them and our family be more bilingual in our everyday life.
I did make some project progress while she was at school that first day: I cut the backings, batting and binding for my place mats! That should count for something. I started basting, but ran out of pins since I only bought 75. Oops.

Excuse #2: I didn't have everything I needed! I think that's usually my first excuse. :o) Everything I've read, whether it be in books or blogs, tells me that I NEED a walking foot if I'm going to do any straight line quilting on my machine at home. I went looking for one at my local sewing and vacuum store, but they didn't have the Brother one I wanted, and I did NOT want to spend $100 on another one, so I walked away with only two spools of thread, a binding foot (which I will talk more about once I do some binding), and some advice from the lovely lady helping me out. She suggested I pin like crazy with my basting and that should help me quilt without a walking foot. Well... I started to, but then I gave up and ordered the walking foot online. AND a free motion foot since it was on sale. So now, technically, I should have every notion I need to finish at least the 4 projects I have on my table. (I told you the Monster has been busy!)

Excuse #3: My husband and I went camping last weekend! Adult camping. As in NO KIDS, so many friends! It's the 3rd year we've done it and it's so much fun. Even when we don't do anything *well, except hold a beer in hand* it's so nice to just SIT. Family camping is usually trying to find ways to entertain kids, keep them fed, semi clean, and out of trouble. This year we invited a couple who hadn't gone camping before (at least she hadn't) and I think they had fun. They're already making plans to come back next year. Yay! :o)

I think that was the last of my excuses. I'm getting the quilt bug again, so hopefully I'll be able to keep going and actually finish a project! It's hard to do it at night, though. I LOVE natural light. That's probably why when I'm at work, I'd rather be quilting. But once I get the kids in bed, and it's getting dark out, I'd rather sit on the couch and catch up on Psych. :o)
I basted 5 place mats yesterday and I WILL finish the last 7 today. I cut my Flurry scraps as well yesterday. Those will be for my annual Christmas ornaments for all the kids in my life. My sister-in-law and her family moved back home, so they add 2 more kids to the list for a total of 10 ornaments this year! My plan is to make a simple-ish block, probably no bigger than 4 inches, and to hand stitch their name and the year to the back.  I now have all the fabric I need for my daughter's quilt top, so I'd like to start cutting that down, too. AND my first quilt class starts next weekend! I know that I have enough projects going on (2 with Christmas deadlines) so that hopefully I'll be able to make a dent each week. I plan to stay up super late on Friday, fire up that Netflix, get lost in a couple of episodes of Psych and actually start quilting! :o)  Maybe not so much progress this Saturday because... we're going to the Fair!

P.S. I never did get more storage on my computer to download my pictures off my camera, but I DID get a new memory card. I think I even figured out how to get pictures off of it without saving them to whatever computer I'm on! I think Craft Monster is getting savvier. It still needs a name. ;o)

Thursday, August 25, 2011

My Tom Cruise moment.

I ordered fabric for my quilting class/niece's blanket online from the wonderful people at Hawthorne Threads last week. I was a little unsure of what I wanted so I went through their website a couple of times last week. Of course, by the time I decided to buy, some of the fabric I wanted was out of stock. :o(  I really like their website because they have a color grid that displays fabrics in a specific color with the option to show from high dominance, to low, to "it's in there somewhere". I'm completely new to mixing and matching fabrics so that was a wonderful tool to have. :o) I also visited my local quilt shop Running Stitch Fabrics and came away with only one fat quarter and two half yards of Heirloom by Joel Dewberry. I wanted the whole Heirloom line, but I need to be focused. My last stop was JoAnn Fabrics. I got 4 fat quarters just in case. I think I only need 4-6 fat quarters and there's a slight chance I may have gone overboard. Oh well... more fabric for another project!

My fabric order arrived this Monday and I couldn't open up the package! I was almost jumping on the couch, proclaiming my love for the fabrics รก la Tom Cruise. :o) I did good, I must say. My sister is very specific about which colors can be in my niece's blanket which I thought was going to be hard. But looking at my selection, I'm so excited to start cutting and piecing RIGHT NOW! I have the book that's required for the class already and the temptation to start is so hard to resist! But NO. I'm doing things the right way, and I will wait. But that doesn't mean that I can't take out my fabric to pet every once in a while. That doesn't sound creepy at all. ;o)

The required colors (as set by my very picky sister) are Magenta, Red, and Purple. I know we're both in love with Gray right now, so I'm sure she won't mind me throwing some in there too. Here's a shot of all of them together:
I'm not completely sure about the first gray from the left. I know that I love the pattern (it's Starlet in Gray from Jenean Morrison, the Silent Cinema collection) so I might have to try it out with a few of the other patterns. If it doesn't work out, it will just go in my "to use" pile for later.
Here are the pinks:

Blockprint Blossom in crimson (Joel Dewberry, Heirloom), 2 random pink fat quarters from JoAnn, two random red fat quarters from JoAnn, Cherries in Pink (Monaluna, Spring Metro Market) and Peeps Illusion in Pink (Lizzy House, 1001 Peeps).

Purples and Grays:




Peeps Jewels in Purple (Lizzy House, 1001 Peeps), Empire Weave in Garnet (Joel Dewberry, Heirloom), Starlet in Gray (Jenean Morrison, Silent Cinema), Kona Solid Ash, Castle Wall in Pewter (Jessica Levitt, Kingdom), and what I think is Raspberry Tart (Patricia Bravo, Nature's Elements).
I just hope that my wonderful color collection will translate into a wonderful quilt!
P.S. I will eventually have enough space in my computer to download all the pictures from my camera which will give me room in said camera to take better pictures than my Blackberry Curve 8520 can currently take. I have hope. :o)

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Finished!.... Well, kinda.

I finished my place mat tops! I want to shout it from the roof tops and show them off to anybody and everybody! It wasn't too bad, actually. I just needed a table at the correct height (bent over a coffee table is not as comfortable as it sounds) and some TIME. :o)

I survived machine applique. :o) I'm super glad I spent the $14 on the open toe foot. I can see what I'm doing! Imagine that. I decided against using the blanket stitch because I couldn't seem to get the right stitch length/width  combination, AND it uses up a lot of thread! I went with a zig zag and I loved it.
Once I finished all the appliqueing, putting the tops together went by super quickly. I did *EXCELLENT!* on macthing up most seams.
However... some seams were not so lucky. :o( Wah, wah, wah....




Oh well. It's my first time, AND nobody will notice, AND we'll probably only use them a few times a year. It doesn't take away from the fact that I'm closer to finishing! Whoo!!!



Now... To sandwich!  Quilt sandwich, that is. ;o) Oh! And I signed up for a beginners quilting class at my local quilt shop! It doesn't start until the end of September, but that should give me enough time to figure out my fabrics. I'm going to quilt two birds with one stone: my sampler will be my niece's baby quilt. :o) I had planned on these classes being almost stress free for my husband since they're on Sundays, but that was before football was back on. :o( AND they're from 1pm to 4pm. Double :o(  But it's only 4 weeks! He'll still have 14 more of regular season PLUS the playoffs and I'll be able to translate all my new found skills into lots and lots of quilts!!! :o)

 

Monday, July 25, 2011

I'm sewing, I'm sewing!!!

I finally stepped over the hump and started sewing this past weekend. My husband gave me a sewing machine for Christmas, it's a Brother.I'm not sure of the model number, but I do know that it's a Project Runway special edition. And it's MINE! Buahahahah! *ahem* Moving on.
Fancy isn't it? I'm still learning all it can do, so it's good enough for me! :o)

Until yesterday, I had only sewn about 5 straight lines back in March. I "made" burp cloths for a friend.  I say "made" because all I really did was make two folds and sew them closed. But hey! It's a start, right?

When it came to sewing my 1/4" seams, I used my 1/4" foot with guide, which made me feel really confident. I may have strayed a bit once or twice, but for the most part, I think I did a good job. I paid attention to all the great hints out there and I chain pieced the charm squares for my place mats. I feel pretty cool, actually. I'm chain piecing!. How quilty of me, huh? :o) I'm still missing an open toe sewing foot so I'm still avoiding the applique, but since I have two blank place mats, I went ahead and pieced it all together. And now... I have a finished top!!! I'm so excited! I messed up a tiny bit so one of my corners doesn't line up, but it's not too noticeable.

I kind of wish the kids would have stayed in the pool a bit longer so I could piece together the second one, but oh well. :o) I get distracted easily so I hope that now that I know how "easy" this is (and fun!) I'll be focused long enough to keep my momentum going so that Christmas doesn't sneak up on me!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Slower Progress

I'm a little scared of machine applique, and I'm not afraid to admit it. It doesn't help that a) I've never done it before, and b) the super nice sales lady at the sewing and vacuum store told me it's easier to have an open toe foot so I can see what I'm doing. :o(  Did I buy the foot when she told me? No. I was more worried about getting the 1/4" foot with the guide. So now my conundrum is.... try to applique with my current foot? Or go out and buy the "right" one? I *could* do it by hand.... but with 10 names, averaging at 5 letters each... I think I would lose the slight timing advantage I've got going on right now.

Well, on a good note: I did make some progress on the place mats at a time when I could have let Applique Indecision 2011 rule my life. I ironed on all the names onto the white rectangles, and arranged 10 charm square around each.

I've gone as far as I can go without sewing a single stitch. Now... do I start piecing the charm squares? Or do I figure out how to do this darn applique and go for it?! I think I need to figure out my sewing area. Either sew in the living room with the TV or arrange the extra TV in the dining room. Mexican soap operas make great crafting companions. :o)

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Progress!

I finally got EVERYTHING I needed to start my quilting career. :o) I know, I said it before, but I "needed" the 1/4" guide on my sewing foot, since I can't trust myself to sew a straight line. AND... it turns out I bought the wrong Heat 'n Bond. :o(  All that is behind me now.

I started my place mats first, since I'm still missing the fusible fleece I need for the purses. I'm using Frecklemama's Personalized Place Mat tutorial from ModaBakeShop.
So far, I've traced my letters (backwards) and cut them out of the Heat 'n Bond.




I didn't trust myself to not lose any letters in the process, so I color coded all the names.  :o) That way *I think* it will be easier to see what colors I'm putting together. There are 10 people in my family so far. I'll be making a total of 12 place mats, leaving two with plain centers.



These are the 9.5" by 5" rectangles I'll be using in the centers to personalize.I laid out my Flurry by Kate Spain charm pack first so I can see all the beautiful colors together.



Then I got to spend some time at the ironing board! :o) My husband joked that I didn't know where the iron even was since he's never seen me do it. I know how to use an iron, thank you! I just choose not to. But with quilting, I'm not 'ironing', I'm "pressing". See? I'm learning.
 And these are some of the finished product. I ended up using most of the charm pack, minus the duplicates. I think I really only left 2 squares unused. Even then, I was as careful as possible to keep at least half of the square to add to my scrap pile. I see a stacked coins Christmas quilt in my future! Well, maybe after the umpteen projects the CraftMonster is piling up. :o)

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Free!

I finally got the fabric I won from QuiltTaffy.com!!! Well, I'm sure it got here a while ago, I just hadn't checked my mail. I love it! :o)

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

I may be in love.

When I first discovered Camille Roskelley I fell in love. I think her quilts and fabric may have been partly to blame for my new found obsession love of quilting. I really liked her Swoon pattern at first sight. It's huge! I think that helps me think it's easy (which shouldn't be the only thing that motivates me to make a quilt, but hey! I'm a beginner, I'm allowed, right?) But now more bloggers and flickr-ers are making their versions of it, and I have to say I am definitely in love. *Sigh* Looks like I'll have to add another quilt to the "to-do" list. :o) Maybe if I make it "manly" enough, I can convince my husband that I NEED the pattern for our bed. Wish me luck!

Friday, June 24, 2011

I WON! I WON! I WON!

I can't believe it!!!! I actually won something!! :o) It's the best news to wake up to on a Friday morning. The lovely ladies at Quilt Taffy did a giveaway yesterday for some fat quarters of Kona solids in Snow, Ash, Tomato, and Aqua. I'm in love with gray right now, I suppose one always needs some white in their stash, and aqua and red are my #2 combination right now, right after orange and pink. :o) This can only mean the quilting spirits agree with me and I should definitely dedicate myself to this, right? I'll take it!

I have a super busy weekend coming up, but right after that I am going to kick Procrastination in the butt and I WILL start one of my many projects. I've read that you shouldn't put a timeline on your first project, but I kind of did already. Well, on both of my projects, really. When I was shopping for fabric last weekend, I pointed out to my best friend the Birdie Sling pattern I bought from Amy Butler. And I kind of, sort of, probably got too excited and offered to make her one too. And what do you know... she'll use it if I make her one, but could I have it ready for her birthday on July 16th? :o/ Eek!  And my second project (or first since it was happening before the purses?) is for Christmas. I originally figured "Hey, it's June, I could totally make 12 place mats before Christmas, right?". Well.... to quote my favorite cartoon of the moment, "Yes, yes I can". Okay, I'm an adult and shouldn't have a favorite cartoon... I blame it all on the kids. :o) I'm only missing some white solid for the center of my place mats and some Heat 'n Bond, and some fusible fleece for the purse. I should be able to get most of what I need this weekend, so I WILL get started. Soon. ;o)

On another note, my 7th wedding anniversary was on Monday. Yay us! And my husband, being the thoughtful man that he is, bought me quilting notions as my present! :o) Unfortunately, I already had most of them. :o( That's ok, though, he'll return them and get me either more fabric (which he won't let me pick out myself since it's supposed to be a present after all) or maybe a craft iron I can dedicate only to quilting.

So the lesson of the day is: Keep entering giveaways!!!! I had to start writing down everything I entered just in case I was supposed to go back to the website and give them my email address myself. I hope this is the start of something great!!! Eleven 11 Quilts!!! :o)

Saturday, June 18, 2011

I'm getting there!

This week was productive quilting-wise. On Wednesday I visited my first quilt store.  I had attempted to visit one in Renton last Thursday, but it's gone. Boo. This quilt store is in Kent, not too far from me, and NEW! The owner opened the shop not too long ago, so she doesn't have a lot of precuts yet, but I found "Flurry" by Kate Spain for Moda in bolts. Which meant.... I made my first fabric purchase!!! I bought two different patterned fabrics for backing and one more for the binding of my first quilt project. :o) I also bought a purse pattern from Amy Butler. I figured I need as much practice as possible, so I might as well get something for myself out of the bargain. :o)
I have decided to start "small". I don't want to go into a full on blanket yet, but I will be making place mats for Christmas! I found a recipe for place mats at the Moda Bake Shop. I fell in love with "Flurry"as soon as I saw it, so there was no more looking for me.
Also on Wednesday, I received my JoAnn mailer which informed me of... 50% off all quilting notions!!! I couldn't pass it up. Thursday was my second step into the quilt world. I started my stash with orange fat quarters for a future quilt for my son, bought a cutting mat, rotary cutter, rulers, basting pins, straight pins, and a book! I've been looking for The Practical Guide to Patchwork by Elizabeth Hartman for about a week now, and I was super lucky that a) quilt books were 40% off, and b) I got the last Practical Guide! Whoo hoo!
I think I may be spoiled by the internet. I started learning about all the different fabric designers while reading different blogs and following links, so I was kind of disappointed by the fabric selection at JoAnn. :( There were *some* I wouldn't mind using on future projects, but it just wasn't all I was expecting. That's alright. I know at least that they carry Robert Kauffman's KONA cottons and I always have coupons! That's something.
Today was my biggest step, I would say.  I visited the Quilting Loft in Ballard while visiting my best friend. This store definitely took my breath away! It was everything I was expecting a quilt shop to be. They had all the fabrics I had made myself familiar with online (a little pricier, too, but I figure I save on shipping, right?), they have classes, patterns, notions, and lots and lots of fabric!! I found "Flurry" charm packs for my project, fabric for my purse (which has now turned into matching purses for the BFF and I) and a Central Park by Kate Spain quilt pattern complete with giraffe applique instructions for my daughter's future quilt!
It was a good quilting week. :o)

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Obsessed?

I'm dreaming about fabric patterns. That's a first for me. Yesterday at breakfast with my daughter, I was dissecting the pattern on the booth. It was squares with overlapping square outlines. I know I've seen it done in quilts, and I was trying to see it in blocks in my head.

I think I'm becoming obsessed.

Friday, June 3, 2011

I know I can, I know I can.

I am truly amazed by the creative minds out in the world. Besides the obvious: science, technology, etc. Crafting is definitely, literally AMAZING.  I see all that creative minds have created and my jaw drops. How do you know what colors to put together? How do you  come up with that pattern? How, how, how?!

I have a problem I need to confess. My name is Vio, and... I have craft jealousy,

My grandmother taught me how to crochet when I was about 10. I started with a scarf. Gave up pretty easily. The little square I made ended up being the cat's hump blanket. Very proud achievement. :o) I think I picked it up a little bit more every time she came to visit. By the time I got to college, I was bitten by the crochet bug again. I've basically been crocheting ever since. I made shawls and ponchos first. Then my friends started having babies, so naturally, I started making baby blankets. The problem became that my mind gets too excited and takes off running, planning all sorts of complex crafts I can do. And then... that's it. I end up procrastinating and rushing so that the finished product ends up being maybe half as beautiful as I imagined it to be. Nobody's complained about it yet, but I know that if I applied myself, I could crochet huge beautiful, intricate blankets. (My grandmother used to make doilies. Tiny stitches, big doilies. Would I  be like her?)Or even clothing.I have dozens of patterns that I've deemed simple enough that I won't get discouraged and actually finish them. Still haven't made them. Every once in a while, my thoughts drift to quilting. It's probably a coping mechanism, a way to hide the "hard to finish" crafts. "If I don't think about them, then they're no problem!"

As my daughter has gotten older, the crafting need/want has gotten bigger. It's grown into a bigger crafting monster with each passing season. She likes dresses and to twirl, which my mind (I need to come up with a name for this crafting, jealous monster) translates into: I need to start sewing! Ay yi yi. Well, if I start sewing, I could do lots of things, right? I could make pajama pants, and robes, and shorts, and dresses, and all sorts of wonderful things!!!! But.... I'd need a sewing machine.  My darling husband got me one for Christmas. :o) Which my monster immediately translates into "I have a sewing machine!! I am now an expert in all things sewn!" Slow down, monster.

All the while, I have a ton of unfinished crochet projects. I owe my 4 yr old nephew a zig zag blanket like my grandma made for my brother way back when. I have a new niece, so she's in need of a new blanket, and baby hats,and possible toys. I'd like my kids to each have a "blankie" made by me. Not that I want them to be insecure and in need of a security object, I just love the idea of having something for 30 years and thinking "wow, this was handmade for me". A couple of months ago, I found the answer to my crocheting/quilting dilemma. A book about 200 crochet squares that could be made individually and sewn together making a sort of crochet quilt. Genius! I put the idea to use for a friend's baby. It turned out OK. Again, I rushed it, didn't give it as much attention as I could have, so some of my blocks didn't square up correctly, so the whole blanket was a *little* off. Thankfully, my friend appreciates handmade items, so she wasn't too upset that it wasn't perfect. :o)

I don't even know how I came upon quilting this time around. I blame the monster ( I'm a sewing genius! Bwahahahah!). I'm thankful for the all the bloggers out there and their many, many pictures. THAT'S where my amazement comes in. There are so many different ways to use fabric, to bring cotton  to life! *Sigh* There are a lot of tutorials out there, and I think as long as I stick to simple shapes and great fabrics, I can do it. I think I'm finally going to sign up for a class at JoAnn's. I used to want to do cake decorating (again, jealous monster), but if I get really serious about it, I think quilting and sewing in general will get me further. And keep this glutton away from cake. ;o)

Jealous monster (really need a name for it) wanted to start with a 9 patch quilt for my king size bed. WHAT?! How do you figure?!! But it's only 490-some squares, sewn together with a 1/4" seam allowance, made into a quilt sandwich, quilted and basted (I think that's what it's called. I need  vocab sheet for this new world of quilting!). Rational monster says "that's crazy!"  Rational wins. Instead, I've decided to make place mats for Christmas! We were just talking last year that it would be nice to have an official matching set of place settings, serve ware, etc. Our place mats are a hodgepodge from Ikea. SO..... If I make cute, holiday, MATCHING quilted place mats....Everybody wins!  Of course, then another conundrum enters our midst: FABRIC. From what I've seen, there are A LOT of super cute prints out there. I'm really loving the lines from Moda Fabrics. I like Kate Spain, Me and My sister, and  Camille and Bonnie. JoAnn doesn't carry them. :o( So I have to order online, or get to know other fabric stores in the area. Field trip!! Let's go Monster.

Officially, I started this blog to be able to win some of the fabulous giveaways that are out there. Ideally, once I start quilting (or wherever this Jealous Monster takes me to), I can showcase my progress here. IF I ever figure out how to do it! I'm not "old", but I know that I am not super adept, my 5 yr old could probably do it. :o)

I know I can do it! I will not let my mind and planning run away from me this time. I will focus and be a part of all the wonderful creativity I see around me.