Saturday, March 23, 2013

I Spy... Bad karma (chameleon)?

I finally pulled some solids for Aidan's "I Spy" quilt.  They're a little "rainbow" for me, and I'm not sure how many will end up in the final product, but Aidan really likes them for now.

For the first time in my quilting life, I'm (thinking about) making BIG blocks:  13.5" finished.  I need a quick way to cover a full-sized bed with minimal quilting so that the end result is soft and fluffy.  This quilt by Erica over at Craftyblossom is my inspiration.   I LOVE the Echino, and her understated color palette, but Little Man likes to be "all colors of the rainbow."  :)  I estimate that her blocks are ~11.25" across (Echino glasses ~9.4 cm, or 3.7"), and I do like the scale, so I may end up shrinking mine to that size if things feel a little too sparse once the blocks go together.

Linen/Echino quilt by Craftyblossom.

I auditioned these two tonight, but I'm still undecided.  I need a few more on the design wall before I make up my mind.

One thing I did spot was an unfortunate fussy cut:

It's actually "1999," but it suuuuure doesn't look like it.  I'm not particularly superstitious, but I don't think I can bring myself to sew this into his quilt.  Can't you just see him at show-'n-tell?

"I spy with my little eye... demonic numerology!"



I've also had to fire up the flux capacitor this week to get ready for the "I *Heart* the '80s Swap" underway on Flickr.    You've probably seen a few of these pieces floating around Blogland: the Billy Idol quilt"Save Ferris" pillow, and Mix Tape Mug Rugs (genius).  For me, the '80s were about TV, movies, music and bangs.   I'll spare you the bangs (for the moment), but did put together a quick mosaic of some of my '80s favorites:

Unfortunately, my partner was...  Less specific.  She said only that she was born in 1984, so "late '80s might be best."  That narrows it to...  What?  Boy bands and Ninja Turtles?

I tried stalking her blog, to no avail.  She likes "Geocaching," (which--if I understand correctly-- is basically a GPS-assisted, world-wide scavenger hunt), but the only crafty items I found were a few small embroidery pieces, none of which had anything to do with the beloved decade of my youth.  After weeks of digging, I finally found her on Pinterest, along with one of my favorite cartoon quotes of all time, which I promptly stitched up... Disco style:

I know it doesn't exactly scream '80s, but Calvin first hit the funny papers in 1985, and his euphoria-demanding stance fits right in with that Alex P. Keaton Reaganomics mindset we all know and love.  Besides, anyone born in '84 is really a child of the '90s.  She can't possibly remember Lloyd Dobler's boombox serenade, Magnum P.I.'s Hawaiian shirts, David Addison's boxer shorts.  And, I couldn't pick a boy band out of a lineup, let alone a Ninja Turtle.  So when in doubt, stick with the classics.  :)

As for this guy, I'm not quite sure what to make of him.  I was going to frame him up in a small hoop, but I'm kind of digging the giant field of "disco dots."  Maybe a small pillow 'bedazzled' with friendship pins?  Or back him in fleece as a giant legwarmer?  Regardless, I'll have to hit the thrift shop later this week for some gen-u-INE '80s memorabilia.  Otherwise, the only memento I can send with my package is a Christmas Ball pic, circa 19__.

And, nobody wants that.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Follow my blog with Bloglovin'

For whatever reason, I can't get the Bloglovin' link to post as a link.  Nonetheless, the Bloglovin' website claims this will work if I leave it as-is.  (Seriously?  Talk about buying into something sight-unseen...)

So,I'm drinking the Koolaid.  Could someone please let me know if this works in any way?

<a href="">Follow my blog with Bloglovin</a>


Sunday, March 17, 2013

Best laid plans...

I'm a planner.  Always have been.  Big plans.  Grand plans.  My in-laws mock me.  "Gotta have a plan."  Still.  A plan is important.  A plan gets you out of bed in the morning.

I've been planning spring break since...  Well...  Since I caught this crappy teaching assignment. Since before then, actually.  Since LAST spring break, when both of my offspring got stomach plague.  So, yes.  I had a plan for spring break.  You could say I had an uber plan.

But then, the fever hit.  Two, actually.  Little man for a couple of days, then Em... For a week. Not just a fever, mind you.  An uber fever.   A 104-degree fever.  A "quick, get her into the shower" fever.  The kind that leaves you shaking and weak in the knees, and you're not even the sick one.

Still.  I was grateful.  It wasn't a stomach bug.  I told everyone I knew, "Yeah, I had plans." And, "Sure, it's a shame.  But at least it's not a stomach bug."

The stomach bug hit yesterday.  And, today.  And from the looks of it, will likely stretch well into tomorrow.  If it's just the one.  If we've managed to effectively wash and bleach and quarantine everyone and everything in our tiny domicile before the OTHER one's exposed.


In lieu of planning for the next spring break-- exercise in futility that is-- I think I'll cover life since my last post so that next week-- when the biosafety level has dipped back beneath a two-- I'll (hopefully) be ready to post some real progress on something.*

*...provided I dodge the stomach bug.

Pretty Little Pouch Swap:  Made  

For Cindy (Flickr name: yayaquilter) who blogs over at Daisy Days.  Cindy loves hand embroidery, paper piecing, birds, linen, green and blue.  I spotted a pillow on the internet with this little guy on it (can no longer find the source), and managed to work out the paper piecing.

Anyone recognize this?  I'd like to credit the source.

I ran a little short on lining fabric, so I left Cindy a secret message for the pouch interior.  I like the end result.

The font is my latest love:  Janda Someone Like You, by Kimberly Geswein.  

After tucking a few goodies inside, I managed to get this into the mail only a day or two late, which is "early" given my history in swap participation.  :)

Pretty Little Pouch Swap:  Received

Green?  Love.  Essex yarn-dyed linen in black?  Scrappy patchwork?  Love.  Many thanks to Gabriela (Flickr name:  Lilac and Rose) who blogs over at Ten Things I Love for this super-cute zipper pouch.  I'm already using it to tote along an embroidery project!

You are My Sunshine 

The first time I sang You are My Sunshine to the Little Man at bedtime, he cried.  He said the whole song made him happy, except the last line.  "Mommy, I won't take your sunshine away. Can we sing it different next time?"  Since then, every night when I tuck him into bed, we end the song with the phrase, "Won't you be my sunshine today?"

I thought it might be nice, for the occasional nights I can't tuck him in, that he have a small pillow with the lyrics stitched on it.  It's a simple improv quilt-as-you-go using bits and strips from my yellow scrap jar.  The inspiration pillows here and here are two of my all-time favorites, by Cori over at Let's Eat Grandpa (LOVE that blog name...  Punctuation saves lives).  :)

The question that remains:  How and where do I add the lyrics?  Do I...

(a) spiral them outward from the white "sun?"
(b) stitch them as "rays" projecting from the white sun?  Or...
(c) stack them as typical stanzas on the bottom-right-hand side of the pillow?

LouBee Sampler:  Pincushion Block

This year, the Lou Bee girls are making a sewing-themed sampler quilt.  Each month, one member chooses/designs a paper-pieced block for each of the others to make using fabrics from their own collections.  We have some pretty great blocks so far:  sewing machines, spools, fabric stacks, even a sexy boot puttin' the pedal to the metal (which I will surely alter into a bootie sock, as I'm hardly hip enough to pull off the sexy boot action).  ;)

Although this round began back in August, I'm a tad behind, so I've only just managed to pull my fabrics:

It's mainly Tula Pink The Birds & The Bees, but there are a few pieces of Anna Maria Horner (Field Study and Little Folks voile) along with some Joel Dewberry (Aviary 2) and Robert Kaufman (London Calling cotton voile in sorbet).  The current plan is to pair these up with grey and white, although at the moment the overall layout is still highly, highly negotiable.

March was my month to contribute a pattern, so I decided to try my hand at a paper-pieced version of a pin cushion.  My first attempt was WAY too big, but after scaling it back a bit, I think it should finish close to the preferred size of 15-18 inches once I add some negative space.

I tried to finish a sample block in time for our last guild meeting, but sadly, that fell at the end of spring break  :/   I did manage to complete half of the wedges, though, and hope to finish the rest soon.  I'm not crazy about the letters I've pieced, but the ladies assure me they will do. Provided things come together as planned, I hope to mail the paper templates out by the end of the month.

In other news...

I gave Em her first sewing lesson:

And picked up a machine for her to use this summer (thanks for the tip, Rene!):

Repaired my collapsed fabric shelves (see background of above photo):

Reorganized my fabric (solids get their own shelves):

Commissioned a snow man:

Discovered a new quilt shop:

Pulled fabric for the Modern She Made Swap (will likely become a New York Beauty):

Picked my next two applique projects:

                                                                                                         OSHA-approved safety glasses will be included.

And survived two significant milestones:

Imagine what next spring will bring.