Thursday, January 26, 2012

Finished Stair Step Quilt

FINALLY!

I started this one in July! And now it's finally done!

Drumroll please!


Check out my awesome quilt display: binder clips attached to my closet doors. Winning.

Here is a close up of the blocks and a picture of the quilting on the back:



It feels so fantastic to have this one all done and ready to use when company comes over!

Monday, January 23, 2012

One step at a time...

How is it Monday already?

Saturday I spent nearly the whole day grading and getting my teaching stuff ready for this week, but I did manage to get all of my strip blocks done for the Seville quilt.



Sunday I did all of the half snowball blocks in the evening, which went a lot faster than I anticipated, which was very nice.

And so I laid out the whole quilt on my living room floor on Sunday night and it’s still sitting there. It has to, because otherwise I don’t know how I would be able to get everything just right again.



So the next thing to do is to sew four half-snowball blocks together so it looks like a white x, this will take lots of patience and matchy matching. Then I can start sewing things into rows (with even more matching, of course.)

My stairstep quilt has taken up residence on my couch and stares at me while I eat dinner (tacos tonight, baby!). Tonight is long-distance House date with Park Ranger Boyfriend, so I will work on it some during that. 

Here's to a productive evening and next couple of days!

Also, check out Quilt Story to see other neat-o blogs and get info about a superawesome Valentine's blog hop!




Fresh Poppy Design

And check out WIP wednesday at Freshly pieced!



WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Friday, January 20, 2012

Friday Five #20: Life's little things and big things

Happy Friday everyone!

This week has been a quick week of very long days. This is what is going on in my life right now...

1. Prepping for my oral exams...
This is going to be #1 on my list until April 26th. In that time, I have to write two proposals, one on my own research and one on an outside topic. Then memorizing everything there is to know about chemistry. No big deal. So if I'm majorly absent from this blog for the next few months, this is why. So please be patient with me. Projects will go by the wayside, and I will probably just talk about chemistry for a while. Oh well.

2. Teaching
Joy of joys, I am teaching this semester as well! One class of general chemistry lab and one introductory chemistry lab. Not terrible, but it will be a lot of work on top of my normal researching and prepping for #1. So here's to hoping that I don't spontaneously combust.

3. SNOW
It is finally actually winter here! We got a few inches yesterday and are going to get a few more tonight and tomorrow. I am hating the idea of driving in it and I'm not really a fan of the cold, but I really enjoy looking at the snow and having hot chocolate as soon as I get in from the cold. So I like winter from the inside.

4. Friday night = me night
I had my dinner of chicken enchiladas, my glass of cranberry wine, a Skype date with my favorite (and only) sister, and The Office on Netflix. Also on the agenda: working on binding, sewing on my Seville quilt, and possibly a bubble bath now that my hot water is back on. Because tomorrow its back to the grind, learning about carbon nanotubes.

5. Lunch and dinner with friends!
Lunch AND dinner plans tomorrow. WHAT THE WHAT! I am so pumped to not eat alone all the time, and hopefully get some leftovers as well. But I should probably still cook some so I have things to eat next week. Or just make best friends with Lean Cuisine. Hmm. Big decisions.

Hope you're having loverly starts to your weekend!

Linking up with E Tells Tales.... check out her blog and her etsy shop, which are awesomesauce, but mostly check out her little man, who is the cutest thing EVER. That smile makes me happy when skies are grey.


Thursday, January 19, 2012

Starting on my Seville...

Guilty as charged, I started sewing on a new project this week.

I sewed all of the square in a square blocks for my Seville quilt (pattern here).

Granted, this quilt was already all cut out, so it was technically already started. Most of the fabric is from the Eva collection by Basic Grey for Moda left over from my sister's quilt featured here.


So here are my 30 completed blocks, I am a really big fan of everything so far!


Hope your Thursdays are going splendidly!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Scrap Projects

Many moons ago (before I moved to PA in the summer of 2010) I bought this magical scrap bag from one of the local quilt stores (that has since moved away, sigh.). Since then, I have happened upon much nicer scrap bags, but this was nonetheless an adventure. All of the pieces were width of fabric strips, all of them less than three inches wide. I am still not sure how all of these little buggers were generated.

In any case, the time has come to bid adieu to the last of this wonderful investment.

To start, I took the wider pieces and cut them into the one inch strips used in my Cheery Quilt. This took up the vast majority of the scrap.


Before Christmas I made this scrappy garland to hang in my living room for the holiday season by printing out stars on paper, and "paper piecing" (aka, sewing fabric on until it covered the star). Pretty fun, huh?



And so now, I finished up the end of it with the intent to make tiny stocking Christmas ornaments as gifts. Next year, of course.



Now to figure out how to FINISH them so they aren't WIPs until Christmas...

Check out other works in progress at Freshly Pieced!

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Friday, January 13, 2012

Friday Five #19 Color Combinations

Here are some color combinations that I haven't really explored yet. I need to branch out from pink and brown.

  1. Black, white and lime green
I have the fabric, I just need to be inspired and find a pattern to go with it. Most of my fabrics are geometric, so I’m not sure where to go with them just yet. My mom has recently made 2 red, black, and white quilts so I might channel those for inspiration.



  1. Blue, yellow, and white
Classic combination. Usually I’m not much into blues, but there are so many beautiful fabrics with these three colors. Definitely thinking a classic type pattern to go along with these colors. Haven’t yet started collecting fabrics for this one, but soon enough I’ll find myself with a stack of these colors large enough to cover my apartment.

  1. Orange
Orange is one of my favorite colors and I think it gets the shaft a lot of the time. How big is the orange section at your local quilt shop? Not very big. There are usually 10 times as many pink fabrics as there are orange fabrics. So this one might be one that takes a while to collect all of the fabrics for.

  1. Red, white and blue
I’d like to make some sort of America themed wall hanging for my dining room. There is a very cute pattern in Quiltmaker from a long time ago that I think that I might try with Uncle Sam. I already have some red, white, and blue fabrics that will be used in this one.



  1. Navy, Grass Green, and Gold.
Over the holidays I bought this beautiful border print stripe at one of the quilt shops in Michigan that we visited during their AMAZING SALE. This was 50% off. I finished the bolt. ZING! I’m thinking something ‘manly’ (aka no overt floral prints) that Park Ranger Boyfriend wouldn’t be afraid to use. 


Better late than never!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Making a dollar out of 15 cents.

So I hate, hate, hate wasting fabric. Especially nice quilting fabric. Even if its fabric I got half off the clearance at Joann I still want to use every square inch of it.

So I had a decent amount of leftover fabric from my snowflakes, including in particular, 1.125 inch strip pieces from the diamonds that were too short or what not. So I sewed them all up (ok, not ALL of them, but almost all of the ones that were already cut, and then I had to cut some more darks, whites, lights, mediums as I went along).

This is my result. These strips are 2.25 inches wide.




I think I'm going to make placemats to match my snowflakes. Maybe. Or use this on the back of the snowflakes quilt. I don't know. I have too many options, per usual.

But now I have a whole bag of pieces that are 1-1/8th wide and less than 2-1/4th long that I can't bring myself to throw away. Is there something wrong with me? Probably.


Oh well.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

New Ironing Board Cover

This project was a quick one, started on Sunday night and finished yesterday.

Using the Moda Bake Shop tutorial as a guide, this is my finished project!

I cut four 5 inch strips (two pink, two yellow) and sewed them together, then cut them crosswise at 3.5 inches and made it into a checkerboard pattern.

To make the drawstring, I cut two strips of fabric 2.5 inches wide and sewed it on like one would sew on a binding, but instead of hand stitching the back, I just ran a cord through the loop in the "binding" and tied it in a bow where the start and end of the binding over lapped.




It is ever so slightly large (you really have to gather it quite a bit to get it snug) so I might trim it down a little bit. But it ended up very cute!

Hooray for completely finished projects!

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Knocking things off the WIP list

So this evening I got to business and got all the blocks together for my snowflake quilt. This one I started the day I started this blog in August. I had all of the snowflake blocks done back in October, but I haven't touched them since then. I ended up finishing all of the sashings, and I'm thinking/wondering if it's done! Does it need a border? Tough decisions....


Hope your weekends are going swimmingly!

Civil War Blocks 50-53

50. Grapes of Wrath

I like the ones that have purple in the a lot.


51. New York


52. Christmas Star


53. Union Shield


...and here are all of the blocks!


I need to make a few more to get to a "square" or "rectangular" quilt top and then I need to figure out how to sash this thing. But it's a good feeling to have all of this done and to have bought very little fabric for this project! Hooray!

Happy Saturday!

Friday, January 6, 2012

Friday Five #18: Resolutions

It's the first week of the new year and I'm going to join the hordes of other bloggers and talk about my resolutions.

1. Finish all of my current unfinished projects

I have a pile of works in progress projects that are in various states of incompletion. So this year, I want to finish all of them. Or at least make a really big dent into the list. I’m working on getting a summary of all of my WIPs together to share (hopefully for next week) to help hold me accountable.




2. Cook more

My cooking ventures have gone by the wayside in the last year. I get home close to 7 PM every night and usually I don’t want to cook, I want to put something in the microwave and eat it. So I want to cook more on the weekends (and even later in the evenings for the next day) so I eat fewer peanut butter bagels and Lean Cuisines.

Fewer, not zero. Let’s be reasonable here, people.

3. Keep in touch with my friends from high school and college

I’d like to write at least one thoughtful letter or email each week as well as to have at least one phone call or Skype date each week. Hopefully these people remember who the heck I am, because I’ve been horrible at keeping in touch the last year and a half.

4. Save money for upcoming trips and investments

I have a lot going on in 2012:

NYC (hopefully) to see my college BFF
MI for sister’s college graduation
MI for Lake Michigan beach vacation with family
CO for college friend’s wedding
Possibly more weddings? As many as 3. Oye.

Things I want to purchase in 2012:

A NEW MATTRESS. Mine is a hand me down twin with a sink hole. Yikes.
More fabric. Duh.
Possibly nicer bedroom furniture.

5. Pass my oral examination

This is probably the most important thing right now because if I don’t pass it, I don’t get to go on to PhD candidacy and I would have spent two years in graduate school not getting a whole lot accomplished. So I’ll probably be spending more of my time working on proposals and learning everything there is to know about chemistry than sewing for the next 4-6 months, but hopefully it’ll be worth it in the end.

What are your resolutions? 

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Civil War Blocks 40-49

Now that I am FINALLY done appliqueing #40, I can show off more of these!

40. Order Number 11

Applique. Slows. Me. Down. Even though I enjoy it sometimes.



41. Red, White, and Blue Quilt

I didn't even think about what the name of this block was until just now and realized mine is blue and white only. Oh well.



42. H is for Hospital

Yay for using more small pieces!



43. Right Hand of Friendship


44. Union


45. Port and Starboard


46. Apple Tree

This one I modified the suggested color layout to look more apple tree-like.


47. Dixie Tea

Classic leaf pattern, I used incrementally darker fabrics as you go from tip to stem.


48. West Virginia

Confession: I hate using templates, so I just figure out a way to rotary cut things instead and trim if at all possible.


49. Yankee Puzzle


I'm getting so close to getting all of these done!

Happy Thursday!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Back to the grind.

So.

I've been a lackadaisical blogger as of late because I've been having too much fun since Christmas.

So here's a quick rundown of the last week.

Park Ranger Boyfriend's Mom loved the Cheery Quilt.

Favorite Christmas gift: Remote car starter. It is AWESOME.

I then spent the most of the next two days sewing, cutting, and sorting while watching ALL 8 HARRY POTTER MOVIES with my sister and my mom. And my dad in the evening who would come home and sleep on the couch. Par for the course, people.

My aunt, sister, mom, and I went and saw WICKED at the Detroit Opera House. IT WAS AWESOME!

Look how cute we are!


I am SO CLOSE to being done with all 53 of the Civil War Blocks. SO CLOSE. I've been posting them all in order, but I got backlogged on #40 Order Number Eleven because of the applique, so once I get that done I think I will have all of the rest ready to post! Whoo hoo!

In other news, I took my mystery quilt and my x's and o's home to get machine quilted!

In even more exciting news, my baby quilt has a baby to cuddle with it! Welcome to the world, Tiny Emma!

Park Ranger Boyfriend took me to see Trans-Siberian Orchestra in Cleveland for my Christmas present and that was also AWESOME. Pyrotechnics = love.

And today I left Cleveland to avoid getting eaten by a Blizzard. Seriously.

Hopefully, now that I'm home, I can get my sewing life back together (and get back to work in lab too, I suppose) and finish all of those half-finished projects. My sister harasses me because she's a one project at a time kind of person and pesters me to get things finished. Oh well.

Happy New Year to you and yours!
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