Random list of update-type stuff

- They performed an autopsy on Shiloh and discovered she had a heart condition. The vet said she probably didn't suffer or anything, so that is good to hear. Daisy is really missing Shiloh though, so they put her on doggie Prozac. I hope she is doing better soon.

- It was part 3 of my dental adventure today, during which I got my permanent crown put on. It wasn't too bad of an experience - definitely less disturbing than getting the temporary one and way less traumatic of the root canal, during which the sedative did NOT work. Yes, you read that right, I was totally alert throughout the whole damn thing. I signed up for dental insurance for next year, so I hope I can go back on the dental offensive rather than defensive.

- Yesterday was my first appointment at the pain management clinic. I was worried about how it was going to go. Luckily for me, the doctor I saw seemed to be very understanding, nice and funny. She wants me to get another EMG on my legs, which is a test where they put pins in your legs to study how the nerves are functioning. I had one while I lived in Texas shortly after the back surgery, and to tell you the truth, it kind of sucked. The doctor wants to compare the old results to the new ones to get a sense of where I'm at and if there is improvement with the nerve restoration. She also gave me a bit stronger of a painkiller to try for the next month. Today has been completely horrible pain-wise though, so I really hope that's not a foreboding sign of things to come. I spent most of the morning at work crying in my office because the pain just wouldn't quit. I hope it's just a bad day. I don't think I can deal with that.

And now that all the crappy stuff is out of the way ...

- I'm going to quilt camp next month! I am so, so excited. I have no idea what I am going to work on, since I am trying hard to get some UFOs finished for the Joy in the New Year Challenge over on Jacquie's blog. I've entered 5 UFOs. I don't know if that is possible for me to finish, but I'm going to try!

- My first finish is the daisy wallhanging I made on commission for a friend of mine in Chicago. I am so happy with how it turned out! I got a lot of applique practice and also did some machine stippling. That was a first, because I've struggled getting the stippling to not look pointy or uneven. It definitely gave me a bit of confidence for my next project. Here are a few photos:






My super-sweet beagle Shiloh died yesterday. She's been living in Texas with my husband, so I don't get to see much of her or my other dog Daisy. I still love those dogs like crazy though and miss them a lot. We're not sure yet why she died, but they are doing an autopsy to find out. They think it may have been heart-related.

Shiloh cracked me up because she would get so excited that it seemed like her tail was wagging her! Her entire back end would get in on the action when she was happy. She loved playing with Daisy, especially chasing each other around the house. Shiloh also loved her treats and would always chomp hers down right away. Daisy would always want to save hers, but that strategy didn't work too well with Shiloh around.

Daisy and Shiloh were best friends, and it sounds like Daisy is really missing her. I know I will.



Reason 4875 why my life sucks

Ha. Kind of kidding about the title, but not completely. I'm spending my day tomorrow getting a root canal, hooray! In good news, however, I am going to a sedation dentist, who is giving me something that will hopefully knock me out so I am not aware of what my mouth is undergoing.

Back when I was getting my wisdom teeth removed, (which were impacted, which made the process even more fun) they put me under. For some reason or another, it didn't completely work and I woke up before they were done. It was pretty creepy to be awake during mouth surgery. And not something I especially want to re-enact. I am going to take my iPhone though, and if nothing else, hope to drone out the dental sounds with music, particularly my current obsession, Owl City. The awesome Adam Young (Owl City himself) has even written a song called "Dental Care." How can you not love a musical artist that can write a cool tune about going to the dentist? Exactly!

In craft news, I've been working on a daisy applique quilt that a friend of mine asked (and is paying!) me to make. I just finished all the blocks and now am trying to figure out what fabric to use for the sashing and borders. It's fun to try out new techniques.

I've been slacking on photos (or downloading them at least) since my card reader stopped working. Here are the flower pieces before they were stitched on the background. I love the colors!

Flower parts

And my other current obsession?




I wish it would stay autumn forever!


Hi. My name is Christy and I'm a fabriholic.

I'm going to Joann Fabrics in less than an hour.

I need a plan.

Anyone who knows me knows that I have plenty of fabric. And thread. And supplies. But that doesn't make it any easier when they have a big sale with lots of coupons. Although heaven knows Joann's makes their coupon periods challenging by letting people only use them on regular price merchandise. And then they put just about everything in the store on sale for a smaller percentage than the coupons are for. Oy.

I'm in the middle of about 15 projects, but that doesn't keep me from brainstorming ideas for my next quilts and crafts. I don't know if it's from a lack of sleep/too much sleep/too much pain medicine, but I am feeling so productive today! If only I could work as fast as I think I can.

Wish me luck!


A new look

I've decided to change my blog background. I'm not sure yet if I like it, but I've been wanting to give it a bit of a facelift for a while. I'm sure it will grow on me!

It was a busy weekend ... I've been working on a baby quilt for a friend who is expecting a baby ... very soon! So it's been a good thing I got so much accomplished. Now all I have to do is finish hand sewing the binding on and then clip strings. Then the big decision - do I wash it or not? That's a tough one; both options have their positives. What do you normally do for quilts? Or if you're not a quilter, would you prefer to get a more crisp-looking quilt or one that's kind of wrinkly and soft-looking?

Anyway, I've just spent over an hour messing with the blog design. I better get back sewing!


Middle-age angst

I've been in a bit of a funk lately ... it seems as if it's not one thing it's another. I've also hit a bit of a stage where I'm having a blog identity crisis - is this solely a craft/quilt blog or a life blog, where posts touch on the little life I have outside of quilting/crafting? I just have an urge to post more than just crafty goodness, so feel free to skip the verbiage if you wish!

Anyway, I'm crabby as hell. So many things are such a mess lately! I've been without my wheelchair of choice for over a month after a treacherous ride on the short bus. (And yes, I have enough wheelchairs from which to choose.) Thankfully (finally!), the repair guy is coming to the apartment tomorrow to make the extensive repairs it needs. I can't begin to explain how much I am looking forward to getting my regular wheels back. I can't wait to be back on a more comfortable seat (although after 12 hours, anything is uncomfortable) and no longer fear a dead battery while rolling amok on campus. I am crabby, however, at the thought of having to pay for repairs.

Another crab-inducing issue is the leaky window in my apartment, which spurred a potential move to another apartment. This idea was quickly abandoned after I realized the replacement apartment wasn't Christy-accessible. The idea wasn't abandoned soon enough though, because my mom and I packed up a good portion of my stuff and started moving it across the parking lot. Now my old apartment is full of storage tubs and stacks of stuff while we reorganize everything. Good fun. And it still leaks, although I am now more hopeful than I was before about it getting repaired before the first snowfall. The good part of the story is that as part of the non-move, I've decided to get rid of a bunch of stuff - so much so that I have been able to get rid of the rack of clothes in my living room. Success!

I also haven't been feeling that great, and have a regularly scheduled appointment w/ my doctor on Thursday. I am weighing my options and whether or not I want to seek a referral to see some sort of specialist that can help with the pain issues. I'd also like a decisive answer on what in the heck is up with the weird dark spots on my feet. Not sure if they really hurt or not, but they're not pretty.

Don't get me wrong, life isn't all crap, it's just been a couple of tough weeks. There are some definite bright spots that I look forward to blogging about when I'm not as grumpy, including one of my life's new loves ... Buster!

Meet Buster, my new and lovely sewing machine. It's a gift from my Sweet Baboo (totally stole that from Peanuts - and don't worry, I don't actually call him that) and it's damn awesome so far. The best part of all? You don't need to use a foot pedal to operate it! Yes, you heard me right, no more scorched thighs from holding the foot pedal between my legs when I sew. It's named after Buster Bluth, one of my favorite "Arrested Development" characters. One of his favorite phrases was "hey brother" so it seemed like a good name for a Brother machine.

My new machine, named Buster!

Plus, here's a teaser of the fabric I am using for one of my WIP. I love, love, love this line of fabrics. I can't wait until my apartment is organized again and I have time to sew and not feel obligated to sort through magazines!



Another finish

If I was one of those people that purposely spelled words wrong just to make them all start with the same letter, I might have titled this Krazy Kansas Kwilt. I am so NOT one of those people though, so hence the lame (but correctly spelled title).

This was another quilt I made for a friend. She is really into the University of Kansas and dogs, so I combined the two in a wonky log cabin pattern. I really enjoyed making this quilt since it was so random, but it took a really, really long time to make the blocks. Maybe my strips were too thin? Either way, it was nice to not stress about having a perfect 1/4" seam on everything.

The wavy lines I machine quilted turned out really good, I thought. They made the quilt significantly wrinkly but also were pretty easy to do.

Here are a couple pictures. (sorry, the photos always suck!)





Rhymes with purple

In a continuation of an unusual stream of productivity, I finished another quilt! And almost odder, it was a gift. I'm usually a selfish quilter, not wanting to give up any project that I spent so much time on. Non-quilters may not realize it, but making quilts often includes blood, sweat and tears.

Anyway. It was a gift for my friend Kim and her soon-to-be husband Collin. They are getting married in about a month, but I decided to give her the quilt at her shower.

While I was working on the quilt, it kind of reminded me of purple Kool-Aid, which in turn made me think of Jim Jones. I secretly wanted to name it "Don't Drink the Purple Kool-Aid" but figured that wasn't really the impression I wanted to make. I obviously have quilt naming issues.

I started the project at the last quilt camp and got the top done and started the quilting. Then I realized that the back was puckering and that annoyed the crap out of me. So I got out my trusty seam ripper. Lots of fun tearing all that quilting out.

Natalie helped me re-pin it a couple weeks ago and then I got busy with the machine quilting. I did wavy lines going across and down. I'm pretty happy with how it turned out. I love the fabrics and color combination!





Can't wait for the wrinkles

No, not the face kind of wrinkles, the soft wrinkly goodness that comes after sending a just-finished quilt through the washing machine and dryer! It's past 11 now and I just put it in the dryer, so I won't get to see the final product until tomorrow. It's like unwrapping a present. You don't really know what it's going to look like.

I love watching the transformation projects go through, from the pile of fabrics to a soft quilt in the end. It really makes a bit difference even from just quilt top to quilt.

Other than getting the label sewn on the latest project and getting it laundered, I haven't been very productive tonight. The pain in my feet has been bad tonight, but I am trying not to take too much pain medicine. I feel like I am running low this month and I don't want to run out. The pain makes me crazy. And crabby as hell.

Jimmy John's had subs for $1 today during lunch time! I was super psyched, since I am a sucker for any kind of bargain. Not all the sandwiches were that much though, so I branched out from my normal turkey club and got a veggie sandwich. It was so good! It had provolone cheese, avocado, tomato, lettuce, sprouts and cucumber. I definitely plan to order it again.

After that exciting bit of lunch news, here's my latest acquisition that I am thrilled about:


Glitter! I love glitter so much. Mom used to always make us go out in the garage to use glitter when we were working on craft projects because she didn't random bits of glitter all over the house. Me? Not so much. I like glitter in just about situation. When I was a kid, I used to dream about getting a car that was painted with glitter paint, like the kind that is used on speedboats. Wouldn't that be awesome? Hell, my wheelchair du jour has a fuchsia glitter seat back. I love it. It's about as cool as a wheelchair could be, in my opinion. Unless I could get a Snoopy or Hello Kitty themed one, I guess. :D

I'll have quilt photos to post soon. Yay!


Wow, it's so ... big!

This quilt got a bit out of control with me! I love, love, love it, but man is it huge! I think because the blocks were so large and so quick to put together it turned out larger than I thought. Add in two borders and we're around 75 x 100!

Needless to say, I didn't measure the quilt top before I bought the back and ended up with not quite enough yardage. Now I'm in the middle of make a long strip of black and white blocks to make the backing actually fit. Oy.



Note to self: That measuring thing is kind of helpful.
Note to self 2: How in the world am I going to quilt this?


Armed with a new camera

Thanks to my sweet husband, I once again have a functioning digital camera! Yay, much excitement on the home (and craft!) front.

I've been busily crafting away and getting much done, including finishing some projects. It's such a great feeling to be able to step back and know that something is finally finished, especially after it's been hanging over my head for a while.

I was so happy to finish the My So-Called Scarf with the beautiful yarn I bought when I was visiting my sister in Illinois. I finished it about 3 or 4 weeks ago, but of course, I'm the laziest blogger ever!

I've loved this pattern for months, but seriously thought it was way beyond my skill level. After I figured out the stitch pattern, it didn't even take that long to make. The yarn was awesome to work with, I just wish I had more of it since I love long scarves. I really couldn't justify buying two skeins though!

While I do not like thinking of cold weather coming back, I'm kinda looking forward to wearing my scarf.




Art Nest Pincushion RingGIVEAWAY!!!!

Art Nest Pincushion RingGIVEAWAY!!!!

Ooh, a contest for a cool pincushion ring ... I hope I win. :)

Who knew - I had a productive weekend

So not only did I finish my orange quilt this weekend, but I finished my latest knitting project, a scarf I've been ogling for months.

I bought the yarn, a Noro Taiyo skein, while I was visiting my sister a couple weeks ago. I knew what I wanted to make before I even picked it out, and just hoped there was enough to get a decent length scarf. I could have used another skein just to make it longer, since I am a fan of long scarves, but I couldn't justify spending that much money for a scarf. It was hard enough to shell out the money for one skein, but I adore it so much!

Ugh, I miss my camera so much! In lieu of a real photo, here's links to the scarf pattern and the yarn that I got (and the shop I went to!). It was awesome to get into the yarn shop, since the one here in town has steps. :(

This is a link to the pattern I used, and here is the yarn I bought.

Too bad it's too warm to wear it! Maybe by the time it's cold out again, I'll have figured out how to do a hat or mittens.


Finished - finally

I am so happy to have finished a project this weekend! It's my bright squares quilt, which is the first bed size quilt I have ever pieced and quilted by machine. It was definitely a struggle at times, but I'm glad I stuck with it. I did free motion quilting and it was really hard at first to keep going even though the quilting looked kinda messy and there were some puckers on the back. Oy.

But I just pulled it out of the dryer - so yummy smelling and warm! - and it looks better. The wrinkling effect make it look less like it has mistakes.

I'm especially happy to join the Spring to Finish 2 challenge on the Tallgrass Prairie Studio blog. I adore Jacquie's work and am excited to have some extra motivation to get some projects done for a change. Makes me feel less guilty to start new ones. (I accidentally typed in quilty there at first, which made me giggle.)

I don't have any new photos since the camera bit the dust, but here's the top after it was put together.


I cut the edges so it ended up being a plain square. Good thing since it shifted a bit while I was quilting it!

Here are some of the fabrics I used in the top:


I based the whole quilt on the fabric below on the left. It's got some gorgeous colors in it. The black pattern on the right is from a fat quarter from Joann's. I wish I could find yardage of it. I love it so much! I would have loved something like that for the back. I was good though, and used something from my stash ... an orange fabric with scattered white dots. It looks OK. I used leftover fabric from my bright strip quilt for the binding. (Notice a trend with the lame quilt names?) :)




Last weekend was so fun and such an adventure! The bad news, however, is that I broke my digital camera when I was trying to get out my wallet in Urban Outfitters. It is such a bummer. I feel lost without it and my crafting isn't as fun without being to document its stages.

I do have the photos that were on the memory card at least. I hope I get my act together soon and do a real update.

Sigh. Hope I can get a new one soon!


Back in the saddle

So I got back into the quilting groove a couple weeks ago at the monthly Sunday quilting gathering. I started working on a wonky log cabin quilt I am making for someone as a gift. I was moving along at a decent clip until it happened: I sliced my left index finger open with my rotary cutter. Ouch! There was actual bloodshed over a quilt project -- that was a first. I bandaged up though and kept sewing, but laid off the rotary cutting for the day.

My injury really put me out of commission for a while! Not only did it make my rotary cutting complex worse, but the cut was right where I put my yarn on my left index finger when I knit! I was pretty much not crafting at all there for a week or so.

The Band-aid is finally off, and it's hardly noticeable that I was ever injured, minus a tiny scar. Just what I need - more evidence that I'm accident/injury prone.

I have lived to tell the tale though, and lived to quilt another day. On Saturday I climbed back into the quilting saddle and got back to work on the wonky log cabin, which I am doing in red, yellow, blue, black and white. It's not as gaudy as it sounds, at least I hope not!

After working on it all day Saturday, on and off Sunday and then a couple hours tonight, I am SO close to having the blocks done! I have 36 blocks, and will be cutting them down to 8.5" squares. I am not sure yet if I will do sashing or not ... I'll have to wait and see how they look after I lay them out. (The colors are inspired by a focus fabric, I didn't just pick them randomly.)

In other news, I'm headed back to my parents' house this weekend for my sister's birthday! I am excited since I don't go there too often and there's a couple of fun options this weekend, including a scrapbooking mini-retreat or a big quilt festival/lecture/show/market. Both sound like lots of fun. And possibly a lot of temptation to spend money!

And in other other news ... I got a new job! Not an entirely new job, since our areas are getting reorganized, but still, a lot of newness! I am really excited, since I will be working in the online experience and new media group. It sounds like it will combine a lot of my interests and my experience into one. I hope it all goes well. Our new group is meeting up for the first time tomorrow, so I am looking forward to meeting the other people I'll be working with. I am going to miss a lot of my current coworkers though! We may end up in the same building, but right now that's still up in the air. I will miss going for Den pops with my friends, for sure.


Quilting pile up

Oy, my pile of unfinished projects is growing rapidly! I have a big stack of UFOs on my spare bed ... probably a good five or six projects that range from almost finished tops to some that are partially hand quilted. This doesn't even take into account all the other quilts that are in progress, with blocks here and there.

Normally I am much better about finishing projects, but with the stashbusting contest last year, I started churning out quilt tops (because I could do those on the machine) and not getting them quilted, since a) I kinda suck at machine quilting and b) hand quilting takes forever and a day.

For the last week or so I have not done any quilting, but have been working on a variety of knitted dish cloths. I know they are a good project for me, since I am FINALLY making myself learn how to do something beyond scarves with a basic knit, purl pattern. So far I made one a heart design, one with a Snoopy design and have started one that has a lacy mock cable design. While these are fun, I don't really get the same sense of accomplishment as I do when I quilt. Sigh.

I know I need to get back on the wagon. My small group of quilting friends is getting together on Sunday ... I definitely have to be back in the groove by then.

Until I actually do some quilting, here's a few inspirational pictures. I heart this quilt so much, and I love, love, love how I'm quilting it. It's just such a pain to do!

Detail of quilting

Quilting in progress


Valentine's Day inspiration

Happy Valentine's Day! I love this holiday ... I love the flowers, the candy, the colors red and pink, the cute cards and all the cheesiness that goes along with it.

After finally finishing the Christmas/Valentine's Day scarf for my sweetie, I've been wanting to try something more challenging than basic scarves. I really have never made anything more complicated and was kind of worried about having to keep track of a pattern and/or counting, since I am a notorious multitasker, usually watching TV, being online and crafting at the same time.

But, I just finished my first project from a pattern - a dishcloth with a heart pattern on it, just in time for the holiday. I was hoping to start some dishcloths earlier in the week, because I thought they would be a good way for me to practice more complicated designs without getting sucked into something that would take forever to make. When I started looking at patterns though, they all suggest all-cotton yarn, of which I don't have. :( I was bummed, but figured I would buy some while at Wal-Mart last night. I bought four skeins there, two in a red, pink and white scheme, two in black, white and gray.

I was able to finish one dishcloth in less than one skein, so they end up being cheap and quick. I think they will look better in a plain color, especially the ones that have designs on them. I did find one skein of plain white cotton, so I'll use that for my next one - a Snoopy design! I was so psyched to find a pattern online and also to find a Woodstock one. I can't wait to try those.

I am so getting ready to take a nap now ... I have the worst headache. Even my scalp hurts when I pull my hair back, and that's a challenge not to do, since I almost always do that.

At Wal-Mart I also found the perfect fabric for a quilt I was thinking about making, so that made me happy. I'm trying to decide on a pattern now.


Update on George and Martha project

I've been enjoying these so much! I got my second one finished and can't wait to start a third.


And this is the second one. The back story is that George tells Martha that he is a snake charmer. Martha doesn't believe him, so she pulls a stuffed toy snake out of a closet. Needless to say, George wasn't exactly telling the truth. You can see a hint of him at the top of the picture on top of the chandelier.



A test of my patience

I've been working on a postage stamp quilt for years. I've been cutting 1.5" squares out of any quilting fabric I get my hands on. I've been trying to make it a true charm quilt, where my goal is to use only one square of each fabric. Working on this project is definitely a labor of love; it's taking FOREVER.

I got little bits out of fabric my mom has and cut 1.5" squares out of every piece of fabric I buy. I also am the scrap disposal system of most of my quilting friends. They give me their little odds and ends they don't want anymore ... I love this! It's like Christmas every time I get them. I have so much fun sorting through all the scraps and finding treasures. I've also been known to dig for good stuff through the discards at quilt camp ... some people throw away some really big pieces!

I've been collecting blocks for the longest time, and about 6 months ago I thought I knew exactly how I wanted to put them together. After keeping them separate into large Ziploc baggies by color, I would lay them all out and then try to fish out the multiples I had. After doing this for days, it was very satisfying to put all my pieces into a large bag and mix all the colors together.

I started sewing them together into a pattern that was sort of like an Irish Chain, but then I really wasn't fond of how it was turning out. Plus, I lost a lot of them after the bags of fabric got lost after quilt camp. Ugh. So frustrating!

So I decided to start over. I resorted all the pieces into color groups and then shades of the colors. Now I've been spending time off and on sewing the squares into nine patches that are organized by color. I love how they are turning out so far, but boy, is this a slow process. I now have 97 nine patches done. It sounds like a lot, but really they only finish to 3 inches square, so this is going to take a while.

Here are what a few look like:



I recently got some fresh scraps from some friends and I also am off my fabric buying diet (I don't seem to be that great at diets in any form!), so now I'm cutting again. I'm also cutting 2.5" squares of all the fabrics that are large enough for my friend Natalie. I'm sure she'll finish her quilt before I do!


Another new project

I've really been in the mood lately to do some embroidery, but I wasn't sure what I was going to work on. I've seen lots of cute patterns out and about, but couldn't find the perfect project. Then I was inspired by my two favorite hippos: George and Martha!


I just laid a piece of muslin over the book and lightly traced with a mechanical pencil.

Here is a photo of the first one. I've now finished two of these, each with a different pattern.


The hardest point has been picking out the pictures! There are so many cute ones, but I don't want the story lines to be lost to people not hip to the George and Martha and the underlying humor.

I have another one done, but haven't gotten photos yet. I think I will try to work these into a quilt top. Maybe a non-perfect log cabin style?

Joining the challenge

Stephanie at Organized Chaos and my friend Natalie posted a handmade/homemade challenge that I'm excited to participate in. So the way it works... The first five people who respond to this post will receive a gift, made especially for you, by me. The rules and restrictions according to Stephanie:

1. I make no guarantees you will like what I make.
2. What I create will be just for you.
3. It'll be done this year - as in sometime in 2009.
4. You will have no clue what it's going to be.
5. I reserve the right to do something extremely strange.
6. When you receive my homemade/handmade item, you must post a picture of it on your blog.

So you know there's got to be a catch... The catch is that you must repost this on your blog and offer the same to the first 5 people who do the same on your blog. The first 5 people to do so, and leave a comment telling me they did, win.


Trip to the Children's Museum

My husband was here last week for a visit. I was so glad to see him! We didn't have a whole lot of time together, but we definitely wanted to get out and do something fun.

I don't get to Indianapolis very often, even thought it's only about an hour away. And when I do go, it's usually with family who have ideas of where they want to go, so I don't often get to pick and choose activities. I really wanted to go somewhere different and fun though, so I suggested we check out the Indianapolis Children's Museum, even though I was kinda worried people would think we were odd for going there childless.

The outing was really fun though, because everything was so interactive and non-stuffy. I also love stuffy museums, like art of all kinds, but my husband doesn't share that sentiment too much.

My favorite part of the museum was the glass sculpture in the center, which is called Fireworks of Glass, and it's by Dale Chihuly. There are 4,800 pieces, and it took 14 days to install it. I'm fascinated by the glass blowing process. Last year my friend Amy and I went out to a local glass blowing shop and studio. It was so cool because the two were connected, so you could just walk back and see how the pieces were made. They even offer classes, and someday I hope to sign up and learn how to do it. I can't at this stage though, since the studio is out of range for the short bus. Damn not having a car/being able to drive again! :)

Anyway. Sancho and I had a ton of fun posing for goofy photos around the museum. This is my favorite of him:


A dorky one of me doing my polar bear impression:


And one of us later at dinner, a belated celebration of our anniversary on Dec. 29. It's been seven years! A bumpy and eventful seven years, but we're trying to stick it out.


He also surprised me that night with an early Valentine's Day present, which he found when he ran into the grocery store to pick up a few basics for me. I love it!



I miss him a lot already. It sucks that we're geographically challenged right now.


Latest project

I finally decided on a pattern for my strawberry fields strips. I found this perfect green background fabric at Joann's ... it has tiny dots with a lot of the same colors that were in the batiks.

I cut the strips so they ended up 2.5" by 6.5" and ended up with six columns across and each one has 15 batiks and 15 green blocks going vertically. It ended up being a pretty big lap quilt and I think it will match great with my sofa. I didn't plan it that way, but the coloring is very similar. I still have some of the batik fabric left. I am still tossing up the idea of either a border or use some of them for a pieced back. Decisions, decisions!


Here's the naked couch so you can marvel at the color coordinating! :)



Blog posting detour

So I know I said I would post more about the glass sculpture and its home in an upcoming post - and I still will - but I've gotten distracted.

Right now? So much fabric, so many options. I don't even know what to work on. I've gotten engrossed in looking for a perfect (or close to perfect) pattern for my recent fabric purchases, but I'm having so much trouble deciding what to do!

I have this set of Hoffman Bali pop batik strips called Strawberry Fields:


This set of Hoffman Bali pop batik strips called Kiwiberry:


And this Moda jelly roll from a line called Charisma:


Oh, and a few things from two recent trips to Joann's. :)

Yes, I know I was on a fabric diet, but I got all the strips during a half-off sale at Fat Quarter Shop before Christmas and Joann's has all its quilting fabric 50 percent off.

And yes, I lost the recent stash busting contest. By a lot.


My day yesterday ...

included this, which is amazing.


I'll be back later with more details!


An exercise in frustration

Tonight has been completely annoying.

I was thrilled to get home after work. It was Friday and I had nothing I HAD to do, but had lots of things I wanted to do. I decided to start quilting the top of a baby quilt I am working on for a co-worker, so I set to do that right after I got home. My right foot was starting to really bother me, so I popped a few pain pills and got to work.

The machine quilting started to suck early. My stitches were irregular, my thread kept breaking, and I couldn't keep my seams straight enough for my taste. I tore out the first bit I did, but tried again. Finally, I was in a semi-decent groove and then my sewing machine needle broke. Any quilter worth her salt has extra needles on hand, and I'm pretty sure I do, but I couldn't find them for the life of me. I spent about two hours looking everywhere I could think of - and reach - and still no dice. Meanwhile my foot is still killing me. Imagine a foot cramp in the arch of your foot that returns every minute or two. Good times.

The swearing just kept getting worse and worse. It was a toss-up between whether I was cursing more about my inability to machine quilt and how shitty I was feeling.

And I still couldn't find the bloody needles. I found lots of other stuff I had misplaced, but not the needles.

Oh well. I finally gave up, got a couple of scoops of ice cream, unrolled (and fondled) my new jellyroll and settled in to watch the cheesy Miss America Countdown to the Crown show on TLC. And my foot is finally starting to feel better, thank goodness.


Bring on the carbs

I'm a big fan of carbs in just about any form, and I ended up focusing my holiday cooking on two items: one, homemade white bread, which is a Christmas staple in my family, and two, Cinnamon Buns From Heaven, which I've made a couple times before and are amazing.

Christmas Eve marked the first time I ever tried to make bread ... usually my mom or one of my sisters would do the honors. I was excited to try it myself though, since I secretly have this delusion that someday I will magically turn into a super domestic person that bakes their own bread, raises vegetables in a garden and cooks a from-scratch delicious dinner every night. (I'm a long ways from that -- last night I enjoyed chili given to me by my dear friend Amy warmed up in the microwave. Located next to a loaf of store-bought bread. In a kitchen with only canned or frozen vegetables, minus some baby carrots and a bag of lettuce in the fridge.)


I used a recipe from one of my mom's oldest cookbooks ... a Betty Crocker back from the 1950s or so. I love looking at this book, it's got a ton of retro illustrations and tips on hostessing. I was worried about the bread, since the texture of the dough seemed a little off when I was kneading it. My mom told me she doesn't normally use as much flour as the recipe states. Whoops.

After it rose a bit though, it looked fine. I followed the directions and let it rise twice, then we slipped the two loaves into the oven. It was long before we smelled something burning ... one of the loaves had ridden so much it was burning on the roof of the oven. My mom pulled them out, moved the racks and stuffed them back in. Not much harm done.

I smeared the loaf tops with butter after they got out of the oven and then had to wait until Christmas to find out how they were. And they turned out great! I was really happy, since we're all carb-lovers and not having bread would have been a travesty in the house.

Here they are, resting after being baked:

My first homemade bread!

My other baking was the cinnamon rolls. These are, hands down, the best cinnamon rolls I've ever eaten. The recipe is from "The Best American Recipes 2000." This listing on Amazon even includes the recipe.
And here are four of them (the recipe made 18).

Cinnamon Buns From Heaven


Why am I up?

This has been one of those nights where I randomly wake up in the middle of the nights and then can't fall back asleep. Ugh. I know all the sleep experts suggest getting out of bed and doing something else until you're tired again, but truthfully I can't be bothered. I am way too cozy in bed with my flannel sheets and comforter.

Here's a photo of a project I finished last month for a Christmas ornament exchange we held at a party with coworkers. We exchange ornaments every year and it's always fun.

Quilted ornament

I made the tiny stars in 2007 and didn't really know what to do with them. They are crazy little, just because I love trying to make tiny stuff.

Size of ornament

And here's the back:

Ornament back with rick-rack hanger

This combines a lot of my favorites: stars, polka dots and rick rack. Maybe I'll make one for myself next season! It was fun, didn't take too long and used up a few of my tiny scraps I insist on saving.


Mmm ... fuzzy food!

I've spent much of the last few months making Christmas presents for my family and friends. Surprisingly, I got just about everything done I had hoped to do, and even on time. One thing I did finish Christmas day, but still, that's pretty close for me.

Anyway, one of the projects I was working on was some felt food. I love making this stuff, but it does take a lot of time since I do it all by hand. I started around Thanksgiving and got some cute stuff done. I didn't take photos of it all -- there was a slice of swiss cheese and a spread of peanut butter -- but here is what I ended up with.





Fried egg


I was working on these during my trip to my parents' house over Thanksgiving and while I was there, my teenage niece really liked the food. I was trying to think of gifts to make for her and thought there wasn't much she could do with the lifesize food, but I should either go really small, like a keychain size, or really big, like a pillow. I decided to try to go big.

Luckily the non fuzzy-producing fleece was on sale at Joann's when I went there and even found a remnant of cream ... which was half off the half off. Yay! I also bought a bit of tan for the crust.

I traced half a slice of bread on a sheet of 8.5" by 11" paper then pinned that to a fold of the light cream and cut out two like that. I cut some strips of the tan for the crust. Before I put it together, I had to make the face, so I used a smile made out of felt and some safety eyes. Then I assembled it on the sewing machine and stuffed it with an entire bag of stuffing! Fluffy bread!

And here it is:
Bread pillow

This was by far the most-appreciated gift this year! Stephani loved it and hardly put it down the entire Christmas visit. That definitely made me happy.