I’m dog-tired!

I’m ba-ack!

Since last I posted, I’ve watched my daughter kill it as Lancelot in Monty Python’s Spamalot,

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watched my son play innumerable little league games,

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gotten promoted at work, and also been to California and back…

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Zoinks. What I have not done is had time to sew, or to post on the blog.

Last week I tried to finish the rainbow baby quilt for my new little cousin (due today, but SHE arrived early, while we were still in CA…) And the screw for my walking foot had somehow vanished (never fear, I got a new screw earlier this week.) But because I actually had some time to sew, I decided to start on the next 2 baby quilts on my list.

I have two friends, work friends (but not at my actual place of work) who are due 2 weeks apart. Both are having boys. Both are in a professional development group with me. So, they know one another. I decided that I would make semi-matching quilts for them, from the same batik roll that inspired my rainbow star quilt.

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When I cleaned up scraps and stash earlier this year, I found an old piece of batik that I’ve always loved. And it’s PERFECT for these 2 moms-to-be: both of them are serious dog lovers. In fact, I just found out today that one of them actually had a dog-themed shower.

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I went through my pinterest boards and found some inspiration, and settled on a great tutorial by Amy at Stitchery Dickery Dock. I love projects that can be completed from stash! So I cut strips from my batik roll, and matched them up, and then sewed them into HSTs. Now comes the fun part- so many layout possibilities!

Here’s what I’m playing with for the first one:

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It’s just an idea at the moment. I should have enough squares to actually set them each 6×7, but this one is currently 6×6. The blocks finish at 6″ square, so it will be 36×42.  A decent size for a baby quilt… But should I use the dogs on the front as a border for a little more size, or just as the backing? I do love border-free quilts, but sometimes they are fab for adding size.

I ran out of time to try more ideas, but rest assured I’ll be playing more, hopefully this weekend. After the end-of-season little league tournament and party, that is!

Linking up with WIP Wednesday and Let’s Bee Social.

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Filed under Baby quilts, Gift, Kids, Quilts, Travel, WIP Wednesday

The Quilt at the End of the Rainbow

It seems like lately my life has turned into nothing but little league- up to 5 days a week between games and practices. Henry and I are both wiped out to say the least… But this past Sunday was indeed a day of rest- and I spent it locked in my sewing room. I only came out to eat, and move loads of laundry around.

It paid off!

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I have a completely done quilt top, and am hoping to get it basted and quilted this upcoming weekend. But, it’s the midseason little league tournament, and if the kids do well, I could be at the field Friday-Sunday. Yikes… send sunscreen and bug spray…

Again, choosing fabrics took as long if not longer than sewing the blocks. And most of the blocks have some cute surprises.

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The light green block has 2 dogs, words about space and science, and a dinosaur. The dino is my only regret- I put it in because I love the fabric so very much, but it’s really too light and blue in tone. It pops out too much. Sigh.

IMG_6318I learned I really don’t have a lot of deep, dark greens in my stash. I had to struggle to find these. Some of them are very vintage, from back in my early quilting days. BTW, my newly organized scrap bins are wonderful for this kind of project. It was so easy to find what I needed! The only sneaky novelty in this block is the lizzy house mineral/gem fabric. Though I guess that black and green Kaffe is also funky…

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Deep blue was fun- but I nearly exhausted my options with just this small block, which is why I put out my call for help with deep blues for a special project… I put the dinos in here again, and here, they work! Also gems, stars, flames, a lucky cat, and even outer space.

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Pink! Almost completely from my scrap bin… some more very vintage pieces in here. The funky glasses kind of represent me. And there’s some very special Heather Ross in here as well.

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Red! I always feel like red is lacking in modern fabric lines, and a LOT of the reds here are from my black and white and red quilt phase- more than 10 years ago! Yikes! But there is one very modern piece of Tula in there, too.

I finally grabbed a photo of the backing fabric, and I’m really happy with it- not the least because it’s very old stash fabric. It feels so good to use what you have- and be happy with the outcome!

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I’m thinking white of some sort for the binding- I know it sounds weird, but I’m not sure what else might work- I’m very open to ideas!

Linking up with Sew Cute Tuesday, Scraptastic TuesdayWIP Wednesday, and Let’s Bee Social

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Filed under Baby quilts, Gift

I Don’t Have the Blues, But I’d Like Them…

Annie has been pestering me to start her Tardis quilt. We’re working from this as our inspiration. And this cross stitch chart will also be very helpful… Many moons ago, Annie went through my stash and pulled out blues that looked good to her, and purples for the background. (She wants purples to look space-like rather than the yellow of the original.) As you might guess, purple is NO problem. But we just don’t have enough of the deep blues. And I would prefer not to buy a ton.So I’m putting out a call: can YOU spare any scraps of blue? I think our squares will be 3.5″ inches, so nothing smaller than that. I will happily swap for things in my stash- need purple? No problem! And lighter blues and greens galore… And wow, do I have novelties…

For your reference:

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Yes, I do realize they give different Pantone numbers, but each image is a good representation of the types of blues we need. Deep and bold, not flat. Slightly jewel-toned, but not over the top. Thank you!

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After 3 weeks of rain, of course there’s a rainbow!

Stop the presses. Or whatever passes for presses these days. Because I spent Sunday…sewing!

I have some more baby quilts in my future. The most exciting is a quilt for our newest cousin, joining the family in July. He or she will be welcomed by an older brother and sister, both of whom already have their own original Sam quilts. In both cases, their parents chose not to find out sex, and this time is no different. So yet again I was stuck trying to come up with an amazing gender neutral quilt. Ugh.

And then inspiration struck. Or rather, appeared on Facebook. My cousin announced #3 to the world-at-large with this adorable drawing, done by #2, of the baby-to-be.

rainbowbabyClearly this baby needs a rainbow quilt. And I just happened to have this roll of 20 batik strips hanging out in my stash. Bought it what feels like a million years ago. What better use than this? (Also please note that my wee cousin appears to feel, as I do, that purple should be the dominant color in everything. Smart girl!)

IMG_6199 IMG_6187But what to do with the strips? I went through my Pinterest boards for inspiration, and settled on this great tutorial by Flutterkat. The pattern called for a scrappier look than just my strips, but I started with them as inspiration. I decided to make 9 blocks- purple, red, pink, orange, yellow, light green, dark green, dark blue, and light blue. I cut my squares 3.5″ rather than 4 as I wanted this to be baby quilt sized…

I started with… can you guess? Purple!

IMG_6189The blocks come together super quickly, and yet again, it’s an instance of picking fabrics taking longer than cutting and sewing the blocks!

IMG_6191 IMG_6192 IMG_6194I noticed that my wonky star points weren’t so very wonky on the first block, so I tried harder to make them so on later blocks. I got through 4 blocks before I had to return to the real world and deal with the kids… not too shabby! 4 down, 5 to go… These are so much fun that I am jonesing to make more. But my time this week is spoken for- 5th grade continuation, little league game, little league practice, movie, family photo shoot, other little league game, sleep (at least, I hope sleep!) Yikes. So check these out and know I’ll be making more to show you just as soon as I can…

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I managed to sneak in lots of my favorite fabrics- some Heather Ross dogs and gnomes, some vintage Kaffe, two pieces of one of my favorite Tulas, lots and lots of pearl bracelets in various iterations, and more. Do you see the adorable monsters in the corner of the blue block? I discovered several yards in my stash. The background is a fun blue, and the monsters are really friendly and cute, and are in all the colors of the rainbow. So they’re going to be the backing.

I’ll be linking up with Sew Cute Tuesday, WIP Wednesday, and Let’s Bee Social while I try to find more time to sew…wish me luck!

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Filed under Baby quilts, Gift, Quilts, WIP Wednesday

Sunday Stash: The All Lizzy House Edition

I may not have been doing a ton of sewing lately, but I haven’t let that keep me from acquiring some new fabric. And it’s all by the amazing Lizzy House. Natural History is one of my favorite lines in ages. I’m already doing that thing where I kick myself for not buying more. Which is totally insane, seeing as how I have more fabric that I can use in a lifetime. (Especially with me sewing so little of late!)

But I did buy a pile of my faves. Full yards of the blues, 1/2s of the greens, all from my fave LQS.

IMG_6181The dinos and the minerals make me soon happy. One of my grandpas was a geologist, and they make me think of him. The stars are for Annie my astronomer. And the whales for Henry, my marine biologist.

And then… I was drooling over the new mini pearl bracelets, and low and behold, an FQ bundle appeared on Massdrop. I’ve made a few purchases through them, and have been very satisfied so far. I’m waiting for another package to show up, that I can’t wait to show you. If you haven’t signed up yet, and you’re so inclined, you can sign up through my link and I might earn rewards. Meanwhile, aren’t they soon pretty?

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My only regret is that there’s not a better purple. But you can’t have it all… I’m hoping this line will be followed by a mini TONAL pearl bracelet release. That would be perfect.

I think these pretty fabrics are helping me get back into the groove. Stay tuned to see what I’ve gotten up to. Linking up with Molli Sparkles and Sunday Stash.

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Filed under Stash Enhancement, Sunday Stash

Not Really Wordless Wednesday

(I’m not dead- yet- and I haven’t abandoned blogging- yet- but with the advent of nicer weather it seems I haven’t sat down for more than a few minutes at a time. I have a nearly-done shawl that I will hopefully be binding off tonight, and I DID finish sewing all 100 buttons onto my modern cross quilt, but we’ve have over 3 weeks straight of rainy days, and I have no idea how to photograph the king sized monstrosity to show it to you… That said, I thought I’d give you a peek at what kept me away from my sewing machine this past weekend.)

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Denver is home to the 3rd biggest Comic Con in the nation, and the only one that focuses on kids and families. For xmas, we gave our nerdy little people 3-day passes. Below is just a sampling of our Memorial Day weekend…

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I won the Iron Throne– but how long will I keep it?

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The entire family took a trip to Tatooine.

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We listened to Alan Tudyk interact with the audience in amazing ways, and splurged on a photo op with him. Browncoats unite!

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Captain Annie-merica met her nemesis…

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We attended a panel with nearly all of season 3 of the King of the Nerds cast- including host Curtis Armstrong, who just happened to star in a show written by some of my high school friends!!

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And we ended the night with another photo op, with Sean Astin of Goonies and LoTR fame. “It’s our time down here!” “Goonies never say die!” Note our specially selected Ts (2 LoTR, 1 goonie…)

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3 of us came back for another day, all done up as Daleks and Doctors.

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We even went to space…

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We saw amazing cosplay- this is only the tip of the iceberg.

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We went to a panel with Sean Astin, where at the end, he swore us all in as official Goonies!

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And then it was time for Day 3.

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Annie had a quick check up/

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Henry checked out some career options.

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And we all got our silly on.

And then we slept.

Then end.

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Filed under General Geekery, Kids

Wordless WIP Wednesday

        

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Scraptastic

Before my week off, I set myself a goal: to deal with my scraps. They were seriously out of control. Some of them were sorted by color into small containers. Most of them were in a giant pile on the floor. A while back, I dumped them out of their big container to force myself to deal with them. And then I didn’t.

Here’s what that pile looked like when I started:

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And that doesn’t even include the stuff that was stored in bins…

Oi.

I started by sorting them into piles by color, and also chose which ones to throw away, or give away.

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Then, color by color, I sorted and stored. I thought about cutting pieces to certain sizes, but since I don’t have a go to piece size, that seemed like a lot of work. Instead, I just checked to be sure pieces were of usable sizes and tried to gather like with like. Very technical, right?

Slowly but surely, I made progress.

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When I got to purple, I had some fun surprises.

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The first and biggest surprise was that I had more blue scraps than purple. Shocking! And also nearly as much green as purple.

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The next surprise? Pieces of fabric from my first ever quilt, way back in the 90s. Very cool to have found them. I’ll have to work them back into something. I also found some bits of my elusive sugar block backing fabric, and I’m hopeful I might be able to squeak out one more block. Or maybe, please, 2.

Here’s a look at what a color bin looked like when it was nearly done:

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When I finally finished, I had bins for purple, blue, green, red, pink, yellow/orange, brown, black/white, and grey. Phew!

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Plus, a big pile of novelty bits that I have yet to decide what to do with. And a big bag of totally useable bits that I know I’ll never use, so they’re going to the art room at my daughter’s school. Win/win!

It feels so good to have this done. Now, I’ll just have to keep the bins in decent order. Hah.

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It’s time to bind…

Helllooooo?

Anyone still out there?

We took that little vacation to Taos and Santa Fe- and we had a blast. So much fun. Then when we got home, I had that week off from work, and I DID tackle my scraps- more on that later. We also started the super fun project of cleaning out our very very very cluttered garage. And Annie had a performance of The Tempest. And Henry had middle school orientation. We’ve been running around like crazy- and I haven’t been blogging at all.

I also haven’t been sewing at all. After I cleaned up all the scraps- hooray!!- I got buried again. Part of the garage de-clutter is dealing with all my clothes. I’ve slowly but steadily put on weight over the years, and I have a lot of smaller clothes stashed for “one day”. Well, I’m down over 20 pounds in the last 5 months! Most of what’s in my closet currently is too big, and so it was time to go through the skinnier clothes. The sewing room is currently ground zero for sorting- fits now, will hopefully fit soon, and too big so time to donate… Phew!

But… on Friday my quilter delivered my Modern Cross quilt! So I did dig my way through the mess to get to my machine, so I could start the binding.

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Just squaring it up, at around 95×100, was a slightly Herculean feat. I decided to use leftovers from the backing for the binding. The colors were just right, and I only had to cut and join 5 strips.

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Then there was the joy of shoving it through my machine to attach the first side of the binding.

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I settled in for some serious handwork.

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But at least one of my all time favorite ever movies was on TV. And in an aside, look at this awesome little present I bought myself last week.

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Now all I need is Jake Ryan for my life to be complete.

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I’m nearly 50% done.

Of course, then I need to sew on all the buttons- one for the center of each cross.

Yikes!

On the bright side, all this handwork will keep me busy until the sewing room is more functional…

Meanwhile, linking up with Sew Cute Tuesday, WIP Wednesday, and Let’s Bee Social.

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Filed under Quilts, WIP Wednesday

WIP Wednesday (the teensy tiny version)

We’ve been so busy around this joint- building new patio furniture to replace what was ravaged by the epic September hailstorm…     

 

And then finally putting up the awesome new mailbox my mom gave me for xmas…    plus going to see The Breakfast Club on the big screen with 12 of my nearest and dearest,   

(and who could forget our geeky weekend) that there’s barely been any time for sewing.

But I did manage to pull off a little bit. 2 little bits, actually. 2 blocks for Quilting Jet Girl’s wonderful project- read about it here.

I made one block for each quilt. First, for the boy:  I was so excited to have a use for that music note fabric- I think it’s been in my stash for 10 years or more! And some of my ever growing stash of tonal pearl bracelets. They’re just so useful.

Next, for the girl’s quilt. I found a tutorial for a fish, and just adapted it a tiny bit to make it the right size… (If you use the same tutorial for the same project, I’d suggest reducing the center rectangle of the fish’d body rather than shortening the tail blocks like I did.) It was wonderful that my new Tula pink and grey print fit the requirements exactly- and that the blue came from stash. Something about butterflies on a fish makes me smile- and hopefully it will do the same for the recipient.

Meanwhile, there’s going to be even less sewing around this place for a bit. We’re taking a long weekend in Santa Fe (have I mentioned how much I like working at a school, and getting breaks off?) When we get back, I’ll still have 5 full days off from work, and while I’ve filled those days with breakfast and lunch plans with friends, I also plan to tackle an ugly project.

My scraps.

I’m going to turn on the TV in the sewing room, and not sew anything until the awful scrap disaster is dealt with. Hopefully I won’t exhaust Netflix’s streaming options before then! Wish me luck. And- if you have any great scrap organizing tips, send em my way!

Linking up with WIP Wednesday and Let’s Bee Social.

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Filed under Quilts, WIP Wednesday