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 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


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.