Swap (and other things) Update

Poor has spent the last couple of days bringing in mail for me, full of packages (fabric, swap items, his Christmas presents) and the occasional Christmas card from family or friends. We finally had some sunlight this weekend (as evidenced in the photos), so I took some pictures of what has arrived lately.

Some more ornaments for the Holiday Ornament Swap:

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A set of 5 little squishy, glittery ornaments, including two trees, two birds, and a star!
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A glittery blue ornament and some cookies, all the way from Germany!
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And, a Santa from crazyhairdesign.

(Here’s crazyhairdesign’s [link removed] Flickr photo posting of the ornaments, where she talks about how she made them.)

Unfortunately, most of my swap partners don’t have their blogs or Flickr accounts linked in their profiles, so I can’t give link love.

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Also, I received my package from Katherine for the Holiday Traditions Swap!

The guidelines were: an ornament, a tradition tutorial, and a recipe. She sent… a rose felt pomander (that I’d seen a tutorial for but didn’t have time to try it for myself), a set of coasters, an embroidered linen sachet, a CD, a letter, and a copy of Holidays on Ice by David Sedaris as the tradition tutorial. The latter is a book that I’ve heard about and haven’t had the opportunity or energy to go find myself a copy, and she did the hard work of going to the used bookstore and getting me one! Aren’t used bookstores great? I haven’t had a chance to throw the CD into my computer yet to listen to it, but the playlist looks amazing. Thanks so much, Katherine! (I don’t think we swapped blogs, so I don’t know if she has one or what the address is, unfortunately.)

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I also finally photographed the second towel I embroidered for Mom, before packaging them both up.
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Both towels

I’m definitely not as happy with the second one (the darker background) as the first, but I think she’ll like them both, and I learned some new stitches (on the second one, I did tons of laisy daisies, french knots, and made up a way to stitch grass, plus the pear on the potted plant is satin stitched with a variagated floss, which looks pretty cool).

Finally, on Friday night I drove over to Hancock Fabrics, hoping they would have a different selection from JoAnn, since I had been having great difficulty finding the fabric requested for her pillows. I hadn’t been to a Hancock Fabrics since I lived near Roseville, so it’s probably been about 5 years. If you’ve been to a JoAnn anytime lately, you know that it’s crazy there around the holidays, always busy and it takes forever to get my shopping done. They’ve had some good sales, but they haven’t had the fabric I needed for this particular project. So, I hopped in the car and drove over to the Hancock in Richfield (or whatever city that is over by 494 and Penn). Much to my surprise, the place was practically vacant, and almost everything was on sale. Still, it took me nearly 2 hours to pick out fabric.

Barring finding the perfect fabric (to match a red wall in her house, to go on the tan/taupe couch, preferably with retro-looking rectangles, which was basically an impossible order to fill), I had decided to use the modern log cabin pillow pattern from Stitch magazine [link removed]. Matching reds proved to be quite difficult, and I had decided that it would be basically impossible to match the pillows to her wall, given that I haven’t been to her house since August, and didn’t pay much attention to the wall color at the time (though, to be fair, I did paint said wall when they moved into their house four years ago). So, I decided that if I used a variety of colors, that probably none of them would match but hopefully the overall idea would (we’ll see, come Saturday).

There’s also another fabric (a taupe with circles on it) for the backing and for use on the fronts.

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Here’s the layout of the first pillow, before stitching

Several more rows had to be added after sewing, since it gets smaller with each seam sewn. Last night around 9:45, I finished the fronts, and then I spent another half hour getting the backs ready. So, next up is quilting them, which shouldn’t take too long. I did run out of red thread (well, nearly out – the spool is visible and my bobbin is almost empty), so they’ll be quilted using white thread, which is probably a lot safer in the end). Putting them together should take almost no time, and the pillow forms have already been bought, so this project will definitely be finished before we get together to celebrate on Saturday (barring major illness, natural disaster, or act of God).

Last week (or maybe the week before?), JCaroline Creative had updated their short cuts and sale sections, which I took advantage of. I bought up a ton of short cuts, some of my favorite fabrics, which are now in Flickr if you’re interested, which you’re probably not. I think several of them will be used in making my next nephew’s quilt, two years from now (there’s nothing wrong with planning ahead, when sale prices and limited stock are in the picture). I also bought a bunch of cotton solids, and perhaps my favorite holiday fabric of 2008.

So, there you have it. I only have Christmas Day off of work, so I will still be around tomorrow, probably posting earlier in the day. We have ‘s family Christmas at 3pm, so I’m taking the afternoon off of work. Tonight’s plans include baking up the 2 batches of cookie dough that I made up last night (to bring to aforementioned family function on Christmas Eve), and maybe working on those pillows some more. Oh, and we have to find a Christmas present for ‘s brother. And I have to do any prep work I can for Christmas Day dinner, to which has been invited, as well as ‘s dad and brother, and if she’s in town (, were you not in Ohio, you would also be invited, but you’ve got your own fun going on right now). So, a busy night, for sure. In case you were wondering how it all gets done, my keys right now are: getting home at 4pm, which means dinner is usually eaten and cleaned up by 6; no homework to do; and, don’t stop moving. Oh, another key to my recent productivity is that we’ve moved my computer into the spare bedroom where my sewing machine is, so that I can watch movies and TV. ‘s dad has been recording Angel for me, and right now I’m part-way through season 2. Great show, I must say. Loved it the first time around (I think I’ve seen probably 90% of the episodes already), and loving it again now.

Swap Update

Pictures have finally been taken of all the stuff that’s been delivered to our house in the last week or so, and I’m excited to share them with you.

First of all, I joined the Holiday Ornament Swap over on Swap-bot, for which I made the 9 embroidered reindeer (and one bell). In exchange, so far I’ve received:

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Puffy Square

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Pink Spotted Mushroom

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Stained Glass Angel

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Little K House

6 more should be coming in the next few weeks – can’t wait to see what arrives!

Then, Sarabeth sent me this lovely item for the Doll Quilt Swap 5:

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Doll Quilt Swap 5 Received

The back is the same pink woodgrain that the front has. I love the fabrics and colors she picked. Also, it’s something I could never make myself, since I’m not that good at applique, and my machine’s tension issues make the zigzag/buttonhole stitch difficult to get good results with.

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Look at all that lovely applique!
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She also sent me some coffee, which was super-nice, though I will be re-gifting (is it horrible to say that? it's honest) because I gave up caffeine, and this way someone else will be able to enjoy it.

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Lastly, just yesterday I received my pincushion from the swap on Craftster. There was some squealing involved when I opened it up.

Why? She included some amazing vintage supplies in pinks and greens, including buttons, sequins, embroidery floss (must research “fast color will boil”) and rick rack – pink and brown, and some baby rick rack in brown (which was the cause of the squealing, and totally didn’t get it, but that’s OK).

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Vintage Supplies

Look at all the detail work on the top!

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Closeup on the details

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More details

And promptly after taking pictures, I put my non-magnetic pins in it (they’re great pins, and I’m glad I bought them because they’re much nicer than the other cheap ones I have, but for some reason they’re not magnetic and I didn’t figure that out until I got home).

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Fulfilling its destiny

Thanks, Sarabeth, Michelle, and others!

A very boring post

I have fun things to tell you, but they won’t seem that way, because I don’t have the necessary pictures to make it truly exciting. So, I’ll try to keep it short and sweet (or at least sweet – I don’t do “short” very well), and post the good stuff with pictures later.

Saturday started early and quite boringly (it’s a word, I promise). We woke up at 7 to clean the house because we had some showings (one? two? we weren’t sure) and so we pulled out all the stops for them. The house looked spectacular. (Feedback report – one buyer “not at all” interested, haven’t heard anything from the other one.) We then went over to the bank to open a CD, which they made quite easy and was a nice, risk-free way of saving – earning slightly more in interest than our savings account.

No Coast Craft-o-Rama was excellent – crowded as all get out, but great. I bought stuff. did too, and she wrote about it on her blog. I think made it through without buying anything more than lunch, lucky her. I could have totally spent a lot more money, but it would have required much more patience than I brought with, since by the time we were “done,” I was ready for the crowds to go away. I could have looked at the cool stuff for hours longer, if all the people had miraculously disappeared. (However, it sounds like that wouldn’t have been a very successful craft show, so I’m glad that didn’t happen.)

After parting ways, I did a very luxurious thing and spent the rest of the afternoon shopping, alone, for nothing in particular (OK, I had some ideas of what I was trying to find). This is why it took me over 2 1/2 hours to get from Minneapolis back home, because I stopped at Super Target, Half Price Books, and JoAnns. It was glorious (and I didn’t even spend that much money, and got some stocking stuffers, and a few things I needed too).

I was still feeling very tired Saturday night, but somehow managed to make it all the way upstairs to the spare bedroom where my sewing machine is set up. I wanted to get the two center lines quilted on ‘s quilt – the big X in the middle, if you will. However, it all went so easily and smoothly that I did the whole thing. It took about two hours, which isn’t bad considering that it’s a twin bed-sized quilt and my machine was not meant to create anything that large.

Sunday, I got the binding made and sewn onto the front. I took a break to decorate the tree that had been so nice as to go get from storage. He hung our “Let it snow” signs too. Now our house is all Christmasy, especially since I bought a wreath while I was out at JoAnns.

After dinner, I started hand-sewing the binding onto the back of the quilt. It looks spectacular. Really. I stopped several times to admire my work, and made look too. My corners are turning out perfectly, which is a first (though it’s only the third quilt I’ve put binding on, so maybe I’ve finally had enough practice to be halfway good at it?). I can’t wait until I have pictures to show you all, because it’s p-e-r-f-e-c-t!

Today, the reindeer ornaments made it out in the mail, which is a good thing. They’re not due until Wednesday, but I wanted them to get out this weekend (however, getting to the post office seemed to be difficult).

When I finally get pictures, here’s what I’ll post: the doll quilt I received in the mail for the DQS5, ‘s quilt (at whatever percentage complete it is when I have a camera in hand), Christmas decorations, my craft fair purchases, and whatever else catches my eye.

Coming up this week: a few swaps (CD, charm squares) to complete, completing ‘s quilt, cookies for my co-workers on Wednesday (holiday party), and ‘s second birthday on Friday (celebrating Saturday). Oh, and picking out fabrics for ‘s Christmas gift (she requested new pillows for her living room, and has a very narrow idea of what is acceptable, and a very difficult color scheme).

At last, a post with pictures!

I managed to take pictures this weekend of some of the craft projects I’ve done, even though the sun wasn’t shining and so these were all done in bad lighting in our kitchen, of all places.

My goal was to finish all 10 ornaments (the embroidery part, that is) for the swap by Friday. I finished the last one on Saturday night, so that was pretty good. I’ll only show a few pics here, because I’ll make up a nice mosaic when they’re all finally done (I still have to put felt on the backs and attach a hanger).

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Prancer
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Vixen
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Donner

There are also two non-reindeer ones:

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Bell with Holly
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Snowflakes

All were done using DMC perle cotton, which is much thicker than regular embroidery floss. I kept looking at it in the store thinking it was lovely, and I really wanted to stitch with it. Well, it is lovely, but terrible for doing detail work. I probably would have liked this project more if I had used the regular stuff. It’s OK, though, because all of these are leaving our house, and I’d like a set for myself, so next year I think I’ll make some up for us, using the regular stuff.

I also finished up the first towel for for Christmas. It turned out really well.

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Lots of little details
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including this cute buzzing bee

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and an extra little something on the other end.

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And Sunday, I made a pincushion for a swap on Craftster. The pattern was in Pretty Little Patchwork, and was not very nice in some aspects (my first attempt failed miserably), but after a modification, I made it through.

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For the pincushion swap

I finally got around to taking apart my first attempt last night – I’m not sure if the pieces for the star are salvageable or not, but they’re from the only charm square I have in that print, so I’m going to try. I’d like to make one for myself, only much shorter (the flowered band is 2″ tall, which is a bit big for me).

Also, though I don’t have photographic proof, I pieced together the “back” of ‘s quilt (which means that I put borders on the center panel, and then cut out and appliqued on the large G). Then I laid out all three layers and pin-basted. Hopefully tonight will help me draw out the grid pattern, and I can start quilting it. asked on Saturday, “how soon can it be done?” When I told her I had 10-20 hours left on it (because I have no idea how long it will take me to quilt it, and the only binding I’ve ever done has been on small projects which take 2-ish hours), she was shocked. Yes, darling, while this quilt isn’t terribly complicated or difficult, it still takes time to complete. I am pretty sure that she will love the end result, though, because the “back” (which, the more I look at it, is really the front) is quite darling, with the green plaid and the large G.

The new phone duty schedule at work was working really well until about 2:15 today. Yesterday morning (my turn), I answered the phone promptly and politely, knowing that it was only for the morning. Coworker B stopped by at 11:45 and said she was going to the gym, but would be back by 12:15 (when it was her turn). She answered the phone all afternoon and I barely had to think about it. (Coworker C was out sick, but she doesn’t have scheduled duty on Mondays, though she did have other tasks for a big event today that I had to complete.) This morning, Coworker C answered phones, and this afternoon Coworker B did (I don’t have to answer phones on Tuesdays or Thursdays – yay!). However, Coworker C came over at 2:15 and told me she wasn’t feeling well and was going to go home (fine, is gone and Coworker B is answering phones anyways), and did I want to take a break first. I declined, thinking it was odd that she even ask. A few minutes later, I walked over to where the other two have their cubes, and lo and behold, Coworker B has left for the day, without telling me. Seems she was allergic to her phone duty or something. So now I’m here, stuck without any backup, to answer phones for two hours when it’s not my turn. Boo on that.

But, on the bright side, tomorrow is the monthly meeting that I normally have to go to, and I’m not going, for the first time, because it’s no longer my responsibility! Hopefully things will go flawlessly, and I won’t have to deal with it any more. So that’s a big “yay!”

In the mean time, I’ll leave you with this reindeer, who’s doing what I’d like to be right now:

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Blitzen

[insert title here]

This weekend was far less productive than it should have been. Not that it wasn’t productive, but mostly that I still have 4 chapters of Shock Doctrine to read. We installed a shelf in our garage, and after we take a trip to the storage unit, will be able to put his car in the garage for the winter. I forgot to take pictures, though, so you’ll just have to trust me.

Saturday while , his dad and his brother were watching the new 007, I was [by choice] stranded at Southdale Mall, where I attempted to find a purse. You see, both my big purse and my little purse are falling apart. The little one has maybe a week left of life in it, tops. The big one has months of life left, but it continues to look crappier and crappier because it’s got a big huge hole in it. So, I attempted to use the mall to find a cute wristlet (that didn’t cost $50 like the Fossil ones I’ve fallen in love for). No dice. Apparently no one really makes wristlets. Marshall’s could have had a good selection, but they only carry big purses. Bummer for me. The last four purses I’ve bought online, so I’m having a bit of a problem finding one in a brick-and-mortar store. Maybe this is why I’ve bought time online…. I know I said I would make both of them, but I just haven’t had the time, and considering their rapid deterioration, and the fact that going purseless is not an option, I think I’m at the point where money can be spent.

I did, however, find new dress socks (trouser socks that I’ve been so desperately needing now that it’s “winter”), and kitchen towels for for Christmas that I can embroider (and a set for us as well, because they were cute and cheap). So, it wasn’t a total bust.

Sunday I worked very hard and finished my contribution to the Doll Quilt Swap 5 [link removed]. I can only show you this now, because until the intended has received it, I can’t talk too much about it or I might give away who it’s for.

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Doll Quilt Swap 5 Teaser

We blitzed the grocery store last night in 15 minutes! For the whole week’s worth of groceries! And then we went to the gym. And then finally, at 8:30 Sunday night, I got one measly chapter of homework read.

Tonight, has an appointment at Lenscrafters, where he will be getting an eye exam and new glasses (which means that two of my three “nag items” as far as his health is concerned will be taken care of, and I only have to get him to go to the doctor for an annual check-up, and when I say annual, I mean “at least once in the 3+ years that I’ve known you, please, now that you have excellent health insurance that means you can go for free). I’m going to try to get some homework done while waiting for him to do that, though I might also stop in at Gap Body, or browse into Macy’s to stare lustfully at their Fossil purses.

Once I’m caught up on homework, I need to go to JoAnn’s to get the last of the fabric for ‘s quilt, and start on some Christmas presents that I’m making (“some” might be an understatement, but many are quite small).

Shock and Awe

Amazingly enough, even with the surprise-scheduled (less than 24 hour notice, that is) house showing, I managed to get a lot done this weekend and I’m feeling pretty good about my progress on the bazillions of things I’ve got in the hopper.

So, to show it all off in pictures…

Friday night, I did homework. No pictures of that. It was terribly boring. Saturday we went out and ran errands, which included a disgustingly easy shoe buying experience at Clark’s at the MOA. If they come in the mail this week like they’re supposed to (they were out of black in the store, but shipping was free), and they’re as comfortable as they felt in the store, I may be a lifetime convert. I’d post a picture, but I kinda forgot which pair I ordered; the whole thing happened so fast!

also walked into the Apple store and came out with a new laptop (planned, of course, because the night before he’d sold his old one to a guy on Craigslist). Then it was back home for more homework. Once I finished reading the Kozol book, I could take a break and work on something else.

If you recall on the BTRS Swap quilt, I had appliqued the flowers on last. I made the coin strip for the backing, and shortly found myself doing this:

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Am I really quilting?

Did you need a closeup? Because I happen to have one:

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Yes, I think I am!

The whole process was a bit messy (cutting out the strips, that is), but I didn’t get any pictures of that.

We also ate dinner, and I did some reading/research for class. Oh, and we went to Home Depot to get a new kitchen faucet (Delta), which installed while I did homework. It’s so pretty! Here’s the stock image, but ours is brushed nickel, not this silly chrome (which would look just awful in our kitchen):

New kitchen faucet

The old one looked nice, but we had terrible issues with dripping, and we had an on-faucet filtration system and they just didn’t get along. I grew up with a pull-out one like this, and has installed them in several houses, and I just adore them. This one toggles on the side nicely, switching between a regular stream and sprinkling/rain. It works nice and we’re pleased.

Sunday morning we cleaned the house and left so that some lovely people could come over and fall in love with it (hey, a girl can dream, right?). We managed to stop into Linens N Things while we were out, since they are going out of business (everything is currently “10% – 50% off,” but it’s more like 10% for most stuff). We didn’t find anything that was on our list (well, we found it, but 10% wasn’t enough of an incentive to buy it), but we did get some other stuff we’d wanted (like a very un-exciting ice cube tray, and a wine foil cutter). We also stopped at Sears and bought an in-sink water filtration system, which replaces the on-tap one we had before. Here’s what it looks like (it sits where the soap dispenser used to):

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New water filter

did a great job of installing it. Conveniently, it sits underneath the sink and doesn’t have to be mounted, and Sears gave us a good deal on it (a lot better than the prices at Home Depot, surprisingly, who only carries GE brand).

More homework for me, and then I got the binding for the quilt sewn onto the front by machine, and after dinner set out to start sewing it onto the back by hand. I was dreading this part of the process, because it’s like hemming pants, which I hate, and my hands cramp up something awful after just one pant leg. Imagine a whole lap quilt! Surprisingly, my hands didn’t cramp up at all, and only hurt mildly towards the end, which I’m attributing to my embroidery work as of late. Also, as a nice bonus, I got it done in 2 hours! I was so thrilled, I kept showing it to at every stage of the game and he was quite nice to humor me.

So at about 10 pm, I popped it in the washing machine, quickly dried it, and we took these photos of the finished product:

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BTRS Swap Lap Quilt finished – front
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BTRS Swap Lap Quilt finished – back

Awesome, no? And, it’s officially my first completed quilt, since I have two others that need the binding sewn on. It will make it into the mail tonight or tomorrow morning, just in time for the deadline (which is today). I know I’m not the only one who was doing work at the last minute, and that several people haven’t finished yet. I feel very lucky that mine was sent to me last week, and that it is just gorgeous!

I suppose one of these days I should tell you about our trip to Grand Rapids last weekend, but the truth is that I keep forgetting to upload the photos to Flickr, and they’re at home on the server, which I can probably access from work but I don’t know how. So, another day….

The one thing I didn’t get done that I really needed to was call . I know she’s a bit disconnected from the internet these days, but if she’s reading this, know that I thought about you a lot this weekend and just wasn’t able to make any phone calls (and I refrained from emailing since I thought talking would be better).

Homework-wise I got one book finished, and my “Racial Autobiography” done. So before Wednesday I need to formalize my presentation (30 minutes on the afore-mentioned book), and by Thursday I need to do my take-home essay. No rest for the weary, right? Conveniently, all my swap items are taken care of except for the Doll Quilt Swap, which isn’t due until December 1st, and I have a lot of embroidery work completed on that, so I can take a breather from that if need be.

I’ve heard is back from Africa, which is good. She has some sweet pictures of penguins and other African things – maybe she’ll post some on her blog one of these days.

Ah!

Look at this post on the Pimp Stitch blog! #4 is mine! Woo-hoo!

Also, the piece mentioned is now finished (except for framing/hanging), which is equally exciting. I finished it late last week, I think.

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Finished apple basket embroidery

And while I didn’t get the photos from our trip uploaded last night, I did make some progress on the BTRS Swap Quilt. I got the flowers appliqued onto the quilt top. Tonight, I will hopefully make the coin strip for the back and applique the flowers onto it as well. I am excited that I’ve read a few places how much people love the Bamboo batting, which is what I bought for this project. My biggest worry is actually not having nearly enough time to hand-sew the binding on the back.

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Sneak peak at BTRS Swap quilt

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I've made this progress on Doll Quilt Swap 5 (my aplogies for the blurry pics - it was quite late and dark and the combination was no good for close-ups).
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I have tons of time left to complete it, so I've been trying to not work on it, though embroidery is one of the few things I can do on the bus, so it hasn't gone completely stagnant. Most of the progress was actually done while on the Ferry to Michigan or sometime during that trip.

That’s about it from me…. I will be spending lots of time today cutting out little circles for a work project. I know, sounds thrilling.

Whew! and other things

It was a rush there towards the end, but I got it all done. Getting ready to be gone from the office for 6 days, that is. Normally I don’t have tons to do, and going away for a short time wouldn’t be an issue, but right after I get back is a meeting, and there are always things that I delay doing until I have to do them, and so push came to shove today. But, it’s all done. Well, everything but the stuff that I have to go in on Tuesday to do. That’s right, in the middle of my 6 days off work, I’m going into the office to work for an hour or two. Boo on that, I say, but it couldn’t be helped. Someone has to upload some files and that someone is me.

In other news, I have some pictures to share.

Wednesday, I met up with and her mentee instead of going to class, so that I could do my cross-cultural interview and write the paper that was due (that night in class). I got the paper completed and emailed in, and then used the time to make some progress on the BTRS Easy Lap Quilt Swap.

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Wednesday’s progress

Thursday’s class got out an hour early, but I ended up waiting downtown Minneapolis almost 40 minutes for a bus, so that was mostly a waste. I did stop in to Goodwill on the way home, however, and found some lovely things.

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A new dress…
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…a fun book…
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…and some wall hangings.

They’re not as hideous as you might think. OK, they are, but parts of that are fixable. First of all, the orange backing is felt that was falling off, and has since been removed. Now I’m left with how to refinish them. Originally, I was thinking black glossy paint, but I’ve since changed my mind towards white glossy paint. And I’d prefer a nice turquoise background, but I can’t decide if a solid or print would be better.

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Thoughts?

Also, I don’t actually have a room in the house to place them, so another thought is to just put them in storage until we have a new house, and then refinish them to match the decor there. But, given the current state of the economy, that could be a very long time. The birdies make me happy now, so I should figure out something to do with them. Maybe paint them white and do a temporary backing (dark brown?) that matches the room they would hang in (I’m thinking the spare bedroom – it’s kinda sparse on decorations)?

I’m sure Jessica of How About Orange [link removed] would have just replaced the orange background and left it at that. And G of doe-c-doe [link removed] would definitely know what to do, since she always does such nice things with her garage sale finds. Alas, I’m feeling slightly more challenged by this project. I’m torn between wanting them to look cool and wanting to keep the “gold” that they’ve got going on. OK, not really, because it absolutely must go. This is what comes from reading so many craft blogs. I’ve got ideas, but not necessarily the artistic eye to make it happen.

Then Thursday night (aka Date Night), after some delicious turkey tacos, I took some time to get it to this point:

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Progress

I also figured out that the idea I had for some applique (something new for me) would work, and where to place it.

And now, I have to do homework, because if I don’t start now, I’ll never get to leave and go to JoAnns and Michaels and the co-op (to get some more Teeccino, because I’m almost out and I don’t want to pay shipping if I don’t have to).

BTRS Swap Update

Note: if my swap partner (that is, the partner for whom I’m making the quilt, not the partner who’s making the quilt for me) happens to drop in here, you should probably not read this post if you wanted progress to be kept a secret from you. Just sayin’….

So, the other day I received the fabric from one of my swap partners for the “Easy Lap Quilt” I’m making for her (wondering what that looks like? here’s some search results from Flickr). The book says 3 solids, 3 prints, 1 backing. She sent three prints total (OK, the brown one could be considered a solid), and I thought, OK, I can work with that. After all, I didn’t exactly follow the instructions either, if you remember, so why should I require everyone else to. It had been suggested that we could add some fabrics from our own stashes if we wanted to, so I took the opportunity (since I used it already for stash-busting, having purchased nothing for this project yet, and I wanted to keep it that way as much as possible).

Here’s what I came up with:

btrs_swap_received_fabric
The three on the left are mine – the three on the right are hers. How’d I do? The yellow isn’t nearly as yellow as it looks in this picture.

So last night, I cut out the fabrics, and after playing around with layout and getting ‘s advice (he’s very good at this sort of thing, though after I took his suggestion and “fixed” it, he said, “I don’t know what you did, but it’s much better” – so he gets it, but only kind of), here’s the layout I ended up with:

btrs_swap_layout2
What do you think?

Also, over the weekend, I did a little bit of sewing (besides finishing up the veil for Tink, which is now in the mail). I decided to try the coin quilt technique for some pillows. I’d found this pretty purple flannel as a remnant at JoAnn and thought it would make nice fall pillows for our living room.

coin_pillow_fall
Going through the rest of my stash, I came up with.

So, the pillows will be the purple flannel (it’s got leaves on it, if you can’t tell in the picture), and there will be a stripe of the “coins,” most likely offset to one side (like these ones [link removed] I made), because I like that look. I’m hoping they can be fall-like and winter-y, but it wouldn’t matter that much since pillow covers are so easy to make, and I always make them removable (because in our house, you need to be able to wash the cat hair off of things), so I could always make new winter-y ones, if we decide we want pillows. Oh, that’s right, we don’t actually have any pillows on our couches. I asked what size he wanted, and he said he didn’t know, because he didn’t know why we would have or use pillows. Hmm. I’m thinking small-medium. 14″?

Lastly in crafting, while finding new blogs (which means I really, really, really need to update my list of blogs I read on this here website, because I read about a dozen or two more than what’s listed there), I found Quilter’s Cache [link removed], which has (literally) thousands of quilt patterns. Here are some I picked out that I would like to make some day (though many are highly unlikely that I will ever be that skilled):

Quilt Patterns from Quilters Cache
Quilty Inspiration

(Description of each on the linked page)

That’s it for me – any votes for Halloween Costume yet?