While we were in Chicago, my doll quilt finally arrived! I’d begun to think it was never going to show up, since the mail date was last month. Evidently, this little package got sent back to the creator, and she had to re-mail it. So strange, but we are all glad that it has been found and arrived safely on my doorstep.
I’m so happy! It’s beautiful, and I think it will look great on the wall next to my other doll quilts. Thanks, Safieh!
For me, DQS9 is now officially over. I received a note today saying the quilt I’d mailed out had been received, and I received mine in the mail on Tuesday. So, lots of pictures ahead!
Let’s start with the one I sent out. I’ve been waiting anxiously for it to arrive at its destination so that I could do a full reveal.
Here’s the beauty that arrived for me on Tuesday! Unlike the quilt I sent out, which had a long ways to go, this one only had to go a tiny distance – my partner, Rebecca (craftalittle) lives in the metro area (well, kind of). [Editor’s note: I thought it would look nice to photograph these in the sunbeam that streamed into the living room yesterday after work, but it totally didn’t end up like I wanted to. Well, lesson learned.]
As if that wasn’t enough, we came home to a present from my father-in-law, celebrating our anniversary (which we knew would be “food,” but that’s not much of a hint).
Needless to say, after having a cupcake (mine had fudge frosting, which totally did me in for the rest of the evening) or two, dinner was postponed. went out for a run, and I still wasn’t hungry when he came back. I made up sweet potato fries, and he made up some mac & cheese, of which I ate a few forkfulls. I was very, very full.
We’ve had a great few days, don’t you think? Such happy, happy mail!
Just kidding. But I have impressed myself with my productivity (and relative awesomeness) this week. (Also, the book I’m reading just got awesome. And I’ve been waking up a lot in the middle of the night. All this combined means that I’m tired. But, it’s a good tired. At least, that’s what I’m telling myself.)
Last night I had class, and since it was the first night, we got out early (8-ish instead of 9). When I got home, I put myself to work on the DQS9.
Design-wise, I’m planning on sashing the blocks with white, and then probably putting a print border around the whole thing (though I’m not decided on that – we’ll see how it looks after the sashing). I want to try to make a wonky patchwork star for the top corner (I wasn’t feeling the embroidery that I’d originally had there) on a white background, and a surprise embroidery piece for the bottom corner, also on white. Question for those two – should the piece be framed in a print, like the others, or should it be white to the edges? Thoughts? I have picked out a plaid print for the background, and red mini polka-dots for the binding.
Remember earlier in the week when I organized my sewing projects? Here’s the results of the “fall” sort.
Eight things. That’s at least conceivable. The winter bag has more than this, and then spring and summer are both quite full. The three knit shirts should take only an hour or two each. The two skirts should take a weekend each, and the dresses, well, my success in the dress department has been varied, so those will probably take longer. The pink blouse has been started – the back is done, and the two front pieces were done. But, they had me put interfacing and a lining on the front panels of the front, and the fabric itself is pretty stiff/heavy, and that just was not working for me. I’ve ripped out the interfacing (except for what remains in the stitches – I’m prepared to leave that there), and now I need to stitch the facing (raw edges) under again. Then, I think, it’s sleeves, and collar. Buttons maybe? I’m not sure. I picked the version without a button placket, since at the time I didn’t have a machine that did button holes well. So, I’m not sure how the closure goes.
So, there you have it! The quilt needs to be done by Monday (to get in the mail by Wednesday), and I think I’m on track for that. No plans for this evening, so hopefully I can get the whole top pieced (assuming I complete those two corner bits). I might work on some other piecing too (for guest bedroom pillows), but only after I get as much done as I can on the quilt. The deadline for the pillows is Thursday/Friday, since we have guests for that weekend. Then, and only then, can I work on the pretty clothing projects for me. Keeping in mind, all the time, that homework reigns supreme, and I require more than 6 hours of sleep each night (8 would be preferred, but I’m delusional if I think that’s going to happen).
I’ve finished most of the embroidery for my DQS9 quilt (that needs to be in the mail September 1st! Eek!).
There’s actually a fifth piece, but the picture turned out a little blurry. I have two more bits to make for this quilt – I haven’t decided if they’ll be embroidery or… something else. That’s all I can share – don’t want to give away my secret plans.
Last night I washed the disappearing ink off (the slight bluish tint on many of the stitch lines above), and ironed them all out. And then I did some math and figured out exactly what size each piece needs to be, and drew the lines for cutting. (My cutting table is currently unavailable – I have to move this disaster of a dress* before I can cut.)
So, my next step is to cut out the fabric that will frame the squares, and the sashing. I should be able to get that done tonight, even if I do get registered and have to attend class. Wednesday piecing… it should all come together fine.
*I’m not giving up on this one, but I do have to rip out the side seams and try a new approach. I’m hoping I don’t have to rip out the invisible zipper I already sewed in – it turned out really well! I will have to take the front bust apart and re-do the darts (because the whole front bust needs to be about an inch skinnier, and the other option is to put a seam in the middle of the bust, and I’m not a huge fan of that). I may have tried to make too many alterations to the pattern all at once (it was a size too small for my hips, and I moved the waist seam lower – lots of math, and I did it all correctly, I think, but I might have been too generous with my enlarging for said hips). I think it can work, but it will take some time, which I do not have at the moment.
Note: I upgraded my theme, and I think everything should remain the same (for you), but let me know if you see anything hinky. It makes me very nervous to upgrade (which is why I was upgrading from 3.4.6 to 3.5.1 – missed a few in there).
Confession – I have not been getting very good sleep this week. I am fully cognizant that parents of young children (or any children living at home, perhaps), quite frequently get poor sleep, so I try not to complain. I think I spent more time Sunday night awake than asleep, but then I hopped on Facebook and saw that my friend had been up all night with contractions, and I thought my complaint wasn’t really that big of a deal (she had her little girl yesterday morning!). And while Monday and Tuesday nights were better, I’d really like to get a solid chunk of sleep in one of these nights. Maybe an early birthday present from the sleep gods?
Last night, I did actually get my paper written, and it was printed out by 8:30! I think that it is a solid paper; not perfect, but I completed the assignment with grammatically correct English. It was a rough one, as I’ve said before, and last night I resorted to using the White Noise app on my iPhone (I think I downloaded it thinking I might get to use it at work), which I had not used yet. It worked quite well, and I listened to thunderstorms for 2 1/2 hours while I wrote. I may or may not have grumpily shooed out of the room so I could get started. 🙂 And… we’ll get the next paper assignment tonight. No rest, I tell ya.
Though I haven’t had a chance to sew anything lately, I have been dreaming up ideas for Doll Quilt Swap 9. It’s a secret swap, meaning that my partner has no idea who I am. As long as I don’t give too much away, I can post as many pictures and thoughts as I want.
I was looking for some possible images to embroider for those half-square triangles above when I came across these guys…
The discussion on Flickr was strongly in favor of the brownies, so I think that’s the direction I’ll take. Now, to pick out fabrics that my partner will like…
I’m hoping to get a grant project wrapped up today at work. I have class tonight, so nothing too interesting going on – pretty much your average Wednesday over here.
I was hard at work last weekend and Monday through Wednesday evenings working on the ornaments for a swap (that should have been in the mail on Monday, of which I am not proud). They went off in the mail yesterday, and should be arriving at their destinations early next week (except for the two that went to Australia and New Zealand – those might take longer).
That last one there is mine. I had to make up ten, and accidentally made up 11. (Yes, I know if you count up the pictures, there are only ten. I forgot to take a picture of one of them before sealing up the envelope. You’ll have to trust me.) The last one, the tree, was my favorite, and was much more detailed (and therefor took a lot more time) than any of the others.
I used some fabric that I’d salvaged from a pair of pants made me back when I worked in San Francisco (in 1999). I used 1 section, out of four, so I have lots left. The backing (a green Christmas print with horns, quite similar to #4 above) came from a stash of Christmas fabric I bought ages ago, before I knew that fabric could be cool. Maybe one of these days I’ll share my bad taste in fabric of the past. The ribbon, floss, and stuffing (bamboo filler) all came from stash, so I actually didn’t have to spend any money, just time. And time, they took.
My favorite part? The ones with white floss? It glows in the dark! So much fun!
Once I’ve received my ten I’ll have to share pictures of what I received in exchange.
I have received (via swaps) several awesome quilts in the past few months that I have failed to blog about, mostly because I didn’t have pictures. I have now remedied the picture situation, so here are the beauties (details about who made them, etc are available if you click-through to Flickr):
Lastly, I want to show off my most recently finished quilt (about five days after the one above). This was a test pattern and I hope to talk about it more soon, but for now I’ll just show it off:
Now I just have to work on a [better] system to display all my lovely mini quilts. I have an idea, but I’m not sure about it yet….
Last week I received my mini quilt from the Mini Quilt in a Bag Swap (2nd round), and it is gorgeous! I sent the charms from the Twiggy line, as well as some backing fabric from the same line (which I adore – I might have to buy more and make a shirt out of it or something – after we move, of course). Here’s my partner created:
And here’s the backing:
I love it! Thanks, Cybil (doodlebugfinery)! Sadly, right after taking pictures of it (in less than ideal light), I packed it up in the bag with the other mini quilts and pillows… some of the few things we packed up this weekend. It will find a new home soon, I’m sure!
In spite of my best attempts to avoid it, I have been spending a lot of my time today looking at the back of my eyelids. I’m having a hard time staying awake. I’m often tired at work, but not so much so that I can nap sitting up, staring at my computer. Now would be a really good time for caffeine, if only….
Last night I finished piecing the top for the Mini Quilt in a Bag 2 swap. It looks really good. A hot iron with lots of steam helped make that happen. Tomorrow I’ll piece the back, and sandwich the whole thing up, and it should be in the mail by Saturday, I hope (the deadline is Monday).
There was also a trip to the gym (the first since January), brownies (I found a box that “expired” last month, so made them up after dinner), and the start of a new embroidery project. No pictures of anything, though. There was also some split pea soup from the crockpot, which turned out well, though a little mushy (perhaps because I let the legumes sit in the liquid in the refrigerator overnight, perhaps because that’s how it’s supposed to be). liked it though, so that’s good. It was a basic Better Homes & Gardens recipe, so perhaps with some tweaking I’d like it better. Maybe bacon instead of ham….
Today, goes to the doctor and schedules the birth of her baby boy (sometime next week). I’ve been trying to be better at turning on the ringer of my cell phone when I’m at home, in case she goes into labor early. It’s not expected, but you never know. I’d hate to miss out on that phone call.
There are 9 pictures of posted in my cube right now. How will I ever make room for pictures of a new baby (who still doesn’t have a name)? I’m going to need more push pins.
Today might be a “cleaning the cube” day. is out all week, and left me with very little to do. I need to take care of what’s in my inbox, but that’s about it. Oh, and eat the brownie that’s sitting here, waiting for me to finish lunch. Yum!
Tonight, I’m getting together with my girls (affectionately re-tagged here as “wonder women“) and . We’re meeting at TGIFriday’s for dinner and margaritas (I’m assuming the latter, perhaps incorrectly), and then will head across the street to the MOA for some shopping. I haven’t seen either of them since January, so there should be plenty to catch up on.
Lastly, I have new shoes. And they’re wonderful. Have I touted my love for Clarks “unstructured” line yet? I don’t see in my archives that I have. Let me tell you, they’re well worth the money, and they’re currently on sale. No break-in time for women’s dress shoes? Priceless.
It’s because I did a lot of sewing this weekend, and sewing is not particularly ergonomically-friendly. I also did a lot of knitting, so my hands and elbows hurt. However, the crick in my neck has finally (mostly) gone away, though a much larger pain appeared in my lower back yesterday, probably from all the compensating I did while I couldn’t turn my head left.
But, you probably didn’t pop over here to hear me complain about weird muscle things.
I got some work done on the Mini Quilt swap. I can’t show you too much, but here’s a sneak preview.
Plus, I finally got around to taking some pictures of the pillowcases I made for (who won them back in, like, November or something). They’re not exactly what she specified (I was trying to not buy more fabric), but they turned out great and I love them.
I’ll post a better picture once she gets them, but it could be a while, since she hasn’t sent me her address yet (hint, hint).
This, however, is what I’m most proud of. I made a tablecloth! And 6 napkins! I gushed all about it on Flickr, so just click on the picture to get the whole story.
And lastly, I finished this bit of embroidery last week. Actually, I finished two (and am almost done with the very last Sunbonnet Sue “Chores”), but the other one hasn’t been photographed yet.
Is it any wonder I’m tired? (Plus, I did homework from about 5:30 until 10 pm on Friday night, with a break for dinner. Less than fun, but nice to have a mostly free weekend and two free weeknights.) Actually, though the tablecloth was a bit challenging math-wise, and was a bit painful (large things are just… awkward to sew sometimes), it wasn’t actually hard. All straight lines. I think I’ll write up a tutorial for it once I get a picture of it on our table. And the embroidery is done mostly while commuting. And the pinwheels… tiny, but fun. Chain piecing. Couldn’t be easier (well, OK, I could have made them much larger, but where’s the fun in that?).
Well, my partner Tom [link removed] and I have both received our quilts, so I can post pictures and talk about them now. I received this lovely work of art on Monday:
Isn’t it lovely? If you look closely, you can see the little ladybug who’s left tracks all across the surface. Such marvelous hand-quilting! In person, the colors look better together than they do here – some of them seem a little off in this picture. I know Tom had a hard time with that ric rac, but doesn’t it look adorable? I sent some baby ric rac, which isn’t exactly fun to work with (I also sent some yellow ribbon, so he could choose). The red bandana fabric is left over from my Christmas Star Wall Hanging. The others were fat quarters I picked up “just because,” and the black Tom threw in from his own stash.
He included these with it:
Aren’t they just wonderful? If you’ve peeked at his blog, you know that Tom spends his time doing creative things in his retirement – mainly quilting and carving. I love that these darlings can now live at my house!
Additionally, I can now rave on about the quilt I made for him. I have to admit, I was quite smitten with it. I adored the fabrics he sent, especially the vintage floursack reprint (the red with blue flowers), which I featured prominently.
I used Japanese Quilt Blocks to Mix and Match, which is a great book. The instructions aren’t terribly detailed (photograph, diagram, some arrows), but I managed to figure them out with minimal ripping (those checkerboard squares were the worst). You can tell how enamored I am with this quilt by the volume of pictures I took of it. Ridiculous, really. The funny thing is that I don’t really like red and blue together. This really worked, though. The only fabric I added was the light blue, which was a fat quarter I received for free with a purchase from an Etsy vendor, and is linen-like in texture (also, it’s a Japanese print, which seemed appropriate). The only thing I didn’t like was how the corners on the binding turned out. I sewed it on wrong, and then had to cut some off, but there was no way to compensate for the corners…. It’s very hard to notice unless you look for it though, or maybe if it’s hung up on a stark white wall. I did have fun trying to figure out how to quilt each square, since they all called for something different. In the end, I used three different colors of thread on top to get it right. Whew!
I think it’s time to figure out the best way to hang these on the wall, since I now have 3 doll or wall-sized quilts. I’m currently accepting suggestions….
If you remember from last week when I posted about what I made, I was in a swap based on the song “My Favorite Things” from the Sound of Music. I received from my partner late last week, and was pleasantly surprised. My partner chose “raindrops on roses,” so all of the items she included were rose-based.
She made me this lovely tote bag that is quite large, so I won’t have to leave anything at home, and it has a great Velcro strip at the top so my pens won’t continually fall out when I drop my purse. She also included these cute socks, handkerchiefs, and a tube vase that I’m going to bring in to work. Quite lovely. She wasn’t very confident in her sewing, but honestly she did an excellent job. Some day it will be spring-y enough to wear those cute socks, and in the meantime I have the darling handkerchiefs to look at. They washed up quite well and soft, and are sitting on my dresser waiting for me to find a home for them.
This was probably my last major swap for a while (other than the mini quilt-in-a-bag that I’m wrapping up), because I just don’t have time to work on things while classes are going on. I’ll still do some small ones (I love the charm square swaps, or the music swaps), but anything bigger will have to wait until May. So sad.
This is the first swap I’ve actually been late on, though only by a few days (it was supposed to be in the mail on Friday, and it will be going out tonight after work). It was for the “My Favorite Things” swap, inspired by the song of the same name in The Sound of Music.
Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens, bright copper kettles and warm woolen mittens, brown paper packages tied up with strings, these are a few of my favorite things.
Cream colored ponies and crisp apple strudels, door bells and sleigh bells and schnitzel with noodles. Wild geese that fly with the moon on their wings. these are a few of my favorite things.
Girls in a white dresses with a blue satin sashes, snowflakes that stay on my nose and eyelashes, silver white winters that melt into springs, these are a few of my favorite things.
I struggled with this one mainly because all of the ideas I had would have taken weeks to complete, and I needed something that could be done rather quickly. I also wanted something that would work for my partner’s two girls, who had some specific needs. Eventually, I settled on the Pointy Kitty from Wee Wonderfuls (for the “whiskers on kittens” part).
I used scraps from a skirt I’m making (the grey plaid) and from ‘s fleece jacket (the tan), and bamboo stuffing I had leftover from the pincushion swap. The only thing I actually bought for this one were the buttons for the eyes. The ribbon and embroidery floss I all had in my stash as well.
It wasn’t as hard as I thought it might be – I ended up getting it finished in most of an afternoon. Oddly, the kitty’s front legs are slightly shorter than her back legs, so she doesn’t stand up on her own (without a prop, of course, like this lovely tulip-shaped bowl that I found at Goodwill, matching an identical one I found half an hour later at Chap). She’s also not stuffed as firmly as she should be, even though I thought I had crammed as much stufffing in there as I possibly could. She’s still cute, and I hope my partner and her girls will love her. I have avoided naming her, since that seems like something her new owners should do (I was leaning towards Maria, after the main character in The Sound of Music, but then all of the girls’ names are cute).
Last night, I finished ‘s Christmas present. I just have to wrap it. Of course, her birthday present hasn’t been started yet, but the list of outstanding gifts is definitely shrinking. I also made more progress on ‘s scarf, and brought it with me today so I can knit on the bus ride home. I’m hoping I don’t have much more left on it. That leaves the fleece jacket I gave him for Christmas (well, I gave him the pattern, and we went and picked out the fabric together). That’s it – the rest is all done!
Swap-wise I’m on-track too, though I had somehow forgotten completely about a recipe swap that was due the day after Christmas. It’s fixed now, though. I think it’s time to start working on Tom’s [link removed] quilt for the Mini Quilt-in-a-bag swap, which means deciding on one of the three ideas I had. I think I might be able to get that cut out tonight though. The other “big” project is figuring out what to do for the My Favorite Things swap. The idea is to pick one of the “favorite things” from the Sound of Music song and make it in any way we desire. The person I’m creating this for has her profile filled out and I’ve perused her Flickr stream and her blog and still don’t have any inspiration. I will figure something out – the problem is that it has to be done by January 9th, which doesn’t give me too much time, and all the good ideas I’ve had so far would take much more time than I have.
We did have our last Christmas celebration over the weekend, with , , and , the latter of which loves his new “big boy bed” and was a hoot. He only had one present to open, since had given him money (or given his parents money, I should say), but it was an awesome gift. If you can’t tell from the picture, the screw driver is battery powered and really works, and you get all you need to make a car (two pieces of car “body” and five screws/bolts). got right to work assembling it, and was completely enamored, staying busy while the rest of us opened gifts. gave me exactly what I asked for – a black satin robe and some new canisters for the kitchen. did too – a sweater and some long-sleeved shirts. I was very happy. At some point, all the excitement became too much for , who had been up until midnight the night before, traveling back from Iowa, and he started running around the room yelling something only he could understand. He was very excited. We made our exit at that point (it was nearly 9:30) and left his parents to bathe him and put him to bed.
Sunday we attempted to stimulate the economy by participating in after-Christmas sales, but had absolutely no luck. was trying to find new jeans, but Lucky was out of his size, as usual (though he did determine that he can just order them online and save the shopping trip). I was looking for some casual work pants (preferably cords) and after half a dozen stores and pairs, we left the mall altogether, empty-handed. The pairs I tried on at Old Navy made me look like I was 5 feet tall (instead of 5′ 8″) and unflatteringly curvy, and the pairs I tried on at JCrew, who only had skinny-legged ones, made me look like my hips were transplanted from a very large person. It was very, very bad. As usual, Express has their store set up to make me want to flee the scene without shopping, and Limited, while calm and subdued, has even fewer casual clothes than they used to, which is unfortunate since one of the pairs of cords I’m getting rid of is from them (a Black Friday purchase five years ago that I didn’t even try on).
I will confess that in the midst of yesterday’s productivity, I completely failed to go to the gym. I thought about it at about 9 pm and decided it wasn’t worth it. I also did not eat what I should have. Full disclosure is good, right? Also, my skin no longer likes the lotion I’m using, as I am itchy again, but that’s OK because I am almost out anyways, and needed to buy a new bottle. I’ll just pick something different out – I did make it all the way through two bottles of what I had, which is pretty good for me.
It’s freezing at work (again, though I’m better prepared today), and I’m going to go take my break and get some decaf chai. That means my two visits for the week will be all used up, but Tuesday is double-stamp day, so it’s worth it. I’m not sure how I’m going to keep warm tomorrow though. I have some bags of tea in my desk drawer and there’s hot water in the break room. Doesn’t sound very exciting, but I bet it’ll work.