Thursday, February 24, 2011

table runner for Rita

I'm sure I've mentioned this before, but I'll say it again-- when I married Rob, I not only got the best husband, but I also got the best set of inlaws that a woman could ever hope for. They are truly wonderful to spend time with and help us out so much whenever we need it. I'll never be able to repay them for all that they do. So when my mother-in-law, Rita, put a table runner on her birthday list last month, I thought it would be much more fun to make her one than buy one.

And it was fun  (although it took me longer to decide on a design than I thought it would). Rita gave me some color choice requests, which really helped. I had 3 of the middle blocks sewn up and on my design board for a few weeks, unsure of where to go from there. When I was using scraps of essex linen to make blocks for Ingrid*, I realized that those shot cottons needed to be sashed. Then it all came together. I used four colors of shot cottons-- pine, pea soup, ginger, and nut. The backing is a Kaffe Fassett woven stripe that I just happened to have in my stash.

The binding wasn't sewn down all the way when I took the photos. I finished that up this morning as I sat in the orthodontist's office waiting room. This was possible, of course, because Cooper (aka Destructo Baby) was with his wonderful grandparents instead of tearing up piles of magazines like he would have done if he was with me. I was very happy to hand this gift over, albeit a month and a half past Rita's special day, as I went to pick him up.

What I was not happy about after I got home was this:

It seems that one or both of our dogs are experiencing a bit of separation anxiety any time we leave the house. Today it was the sippy cup (pulled off the counter). Yesterday it was a can of frosting and a pack of diapers (also pulled off the counter). Two days ago it was a plastic bag of pocket folders and a pack of velcro that were covered in tooth marks. Nothing is safe. Have I mentioned that my sewing room doorknob jammed so I removed it? I think I need to stop at a hardware store this afternoon before the dogs start eating my sewing supplies again.

* I decided that I'm going to give all of my quilts that I make an actual human name. I unofficially started calling the Aqua and Orange Mermaid Quilt "Trudie," after thinking of that stupid Sting song "Fields of Gold" every time I would sew on it. And fittingly, the Ingrid Press inspired quilt is now simply "Ingrid." I've always hated naming my quilts, so this is the path I'm going to take from now on. Dorky? Maybe. But easy.

bee blocks for February

First, thanks for all of the nice comments about my Ingrid Press inspired quilt in my last post! I'm going to start the quilting tonight, so we'll see how it goes! I originally wanted a flannel back, but since I couldn't find one I liked, I've pieced together some green and blue shot cotton. It will be yummy.

I made two very different sets of bee blocks yesterday. First, some very bright frame-in-a-frame blocks for the Fussy Cut Love Bee. I loved the colors that Vickie chose! All of the fabrics were bright and beautiful.

And in contrast, a very mellow set of blocks for Sorrel's month of Not Your Grandma's Quilting Bee. I love the simplicity of the two fabrics in each block, and it's fun for me to try blocks like these from a pattern. Sorrell assigned everyone a week from Crazy Mom Quilts' Star Quilt Along (mine was week three) and asked us to do a setting block as well.

Both very different, but very fun to do.

Monday, February 21, 2011

a new favorite

I sewed up my Ingrid-Press-inspired quilt top from the blocks I received from the Not Your Grandma's Quilting Bee. I received 20 blocks from the members and made 10 of my own to finish it out.

I love it.

A special thanks to Avery and Claire for being my quilt top holders, keeping it off the dog haired floors while I searched all over for the camera. Even though it made their arms tired. I love them too.

My goal is to have this one quilted up before Friday, and get the binding sewn on over the weekend. I can't wait!

Saturday, February 19, 2011

a family photo update

Claire lost her top tooth tonight, or should I say, she pulled it. All by herself. She's so proud.

I might need to lock Avery in her room until she's 35.

Cooper is such a little man, and growing so fast. He's about to pop his 5th tooth, will stand a bit on his own when we tell him to "let go," and favors things like vaccuum attachments to baby toys.

It's a total blessing to have healthy, happy kids.

Monday, February 14, 2011

A wee destash for a good cause

Happy Valentine's Day! I hope you all are "feeling the love" in one way or another today. Rob and I celebrated with dinner out and some small treats this weekend. Just perfect! I know that Avery and Claire are having a blast at school with their Valentine parties.

This weekend I also did my first team run with Team in Training, which raises money for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. If you're not familiar with the group, please check them out. I ran the Dublin Marathon with them when I was in college, at a time when I didn't know a soul affected by cancer. Since then, I have had a family member beat lymphoma and seen both kids and adults go through leukemia treatments. They are nasty cancers, but survival is a possibility in good part because of the research that LLS does.

I signed up to do the half Mayor's Marathon in Anchorage this June. However, one of the coaches suggested that I train for the marathon instead, and then I can always back off of training later if I feel like I want to go back to the half. So that's the plan. I ran almost 5 miles in zero degree temps at a 9 mile/minute pace. Totally unexpected (I haven't run consistently in 2 years) and exciting!

Of course, raising money is a big reason why I'm doing this. So I've decided to do a bit of a destash in my etsy shop. 100% of the money from sales in the month of February will go to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. Today I'm adding out of print fabrics, but I'll also be putting in some handmade items like my encaustic paintings for a steal and a couple of small quilts (the sailboat mug rug's going in next). Check it out! And of course, if you prefer to make a straight donation, you can click on the button on my sidebar.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

instant gratification in the form of a rainbow zip pouch

I got into a creative funk this week. I would go into my sewing room and just sit there, not wanting to touch my many works in progress and not feeling inspired to do anything else. I decided it was time to bust out of it, so when Cooper went down for his nap I made myself go downstairs and start sewing.

One of my more favorited mini quilts on flickr is the one that's in my header. I don't sew with batiks anymore, so I thought it would be fun to revisit the rainbow concept with different fabrics. I paired them up with a yummy black and white woven fabric I just received in the mail, which I love! The pouch measures about 10 inches square and will house my Prismacolor markers and a sketchbook.

It feels good to have something completed, even if it's a teeny something. Thank you for all of the feedback on my wall issues in the previous post! I'm going to talk it over with Rob, and if he's game, I think a quilt is in order for over the couch.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

the after


I finished the painting (save a teeny bit of high work due to a broken extension pole attachment) on Wednesday night but didn't have the energy to post about it.

The after:

I'll be honest-- while I like the green, the orange is giving me fits. I need to mellow out that big expanse of wall over the couch (and that darn speaker), but I'm not sure what to put on it? I started pulling random artwork from around the house then got discouraged. I'm thinking it needs something lighter in color to tie in the green. It's just so hard to find something that I like that doesn't cost the big bucks. Maybe I'll quilt something? Any suggestions are welcome, because home decorating is not exactly my thing.