Thursday, July 30, 2009

Quilting Funk and a Giveaway to Enter!

Let's be honest. I'm not getting much quilting done these days. Moving into the new apartment and the final push of wedding planning has really thrown me for a loop, and I've only logged maybe 5-6 hours at the sewing machine in the past month. It's embarrassing but true. The dearth of sewing isn't for lack of inspiration. There's plenty of inspiration to be found online, especially now that I've joined a few flickr groups that revolve around Moda in particular (See below for a list). I think part of the problem is that I haven't fully adjusted to my new quilting space. The room is slightly, er, cramped, you might say, with stuff, and every time I sit down at the sewing machine, I feel like I barely have enough room to stretch out my elbows. It's only for about 5 more months, and then hopefully I'll be married. In a house. With my sewing machine/supplies in a room that's not claustrophobically small and where I don't have to sit on the floor to cut out my fabric.

In happier news that doesn't revolve around my poor self-discipline when it comes to quilting, Rachel from P.S. I Quilt is having an uber-generous giveaway. Be sure to check out her blog for a chance to win a $50 gift certificate to the Fat Quarter Shop (a.k.a. A Quilter's Mecca). Good luck!

Inspirational Flickr Groups:
What do you look at for inspiration?

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Menu Plan Monday/Tuesday and Quilting Update

Alas again, I post a day late. I really do plan these things in advance. I'm just not too conscientious about the posting. Luckily, no one's grading me on my blogging.

Monday - Spinach Tortellini Toss, Asparagus
Tuesday - Baked Potato Soup, Apple & Cheddar Quesadillas
Wednesday - Tacos
Thursday - Breakfast for Dinner = Hashbrown Casserole, Eggs, Toast, Fruit
Friday - Frozen Pizza, Asparagus
Saturday - White Bean Soup and Paninis

With the end of the month and the food budget running pretty low, I decided to use up as much food in the pantry/refrigerator as possible. Overall, I think I did alright.

For more menu inspiration, be sure to take a look at Org Junkie's website.

In quilting news, Mom and I went to the AQS Expo in Knoxville last weekend and had a GREAT time, once I finally got there. As usual, I got lost in Knoxville (I'll never understand that place), and I had to pull into a Kroger parking lot, call my brother, and listen to his harrassment while he pulled up my location on Google Maps and kindly told me how to get back downtown.

I was surprised at how big the vendor mall was - much bigger than what I saw at the Mid-Atlantic show in Virginia a few months ago, but Mom and I both showed restraint and didn't buy too much. I was most impressed with these people, who were peddling fabric organizing sheaths. Compared to lots of quilters, I don't have that much fabric, but Mom does, and we were both totally sold on this product for a few reasons:
  • They're acid free, so you don't have to worry about the product damaging or fading your fabric
  • They're versatile enough that you can store them vertically or horizontally on a shelf, OR you can even tuck them in filing cabinets
  • They come in regular and fat quarter sizes
  • You can wrap a whole project's worth of fabric on these mini-bolts
  • They're re-usable
I promise you, these women aren't paying me (like they would gain big bucks from my 4 readers), but I was totally impressed with their product. If you have an uncontrollable stash, check out their website. The photos are particularly persuasive, I think.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Ambitious Weekend Plans

This is the first weekend since May that we haven't had to do anything or be anywhere, so what am I doing? I'm packing in the stuff to do, but I'm so happy that I actually get to choose what to do, instead of having it chosen for me.

On the weekend crafty agenda:
  • Finish piecing the Wee Play quilt top (such adorable fabric - pictured below)
  • Put borders on the Shangri-La quilt top
  • Sandwich and baste the 1974 quilt (pictured above - my least favorite crafty task)
  • And get tracing paper designs ready to quilt the 1974 quilt
  • Hit the Christmas in July sale at Wish Upon a Quilt??

On the weekend non-crafty agenda:
  • Make dinner for tonight - it's an easy one
  • Get appetizers, dinner, dessert, ready for Sunday (did I mention the Husband Elect's parents are coming over? eep!)
  • Make vegetable broth
  • Plan out food for next week + grocery list
  • Grocery Store
  • Clean apt
  • Finish Thank-You cards (only 6 more left, as of 10am!)
  • 2 loads of laundry (1 today, 1 tomorrow), and I should finally be caught up
I'm optimistic that I can at least finish the crafty tasks and get dinner on the table. We'll see how the cleaning goes...

So Close I Can Taste It

I'm oh so excited about starting some new projects this fall, but I'm making myself wrap up a few other coals I've already got in the fire this summer. I've got 3 quilt tops completed, and I'd like to finish at least two of them before I start anything else. Oh, and I started piecing yet another quilt top when I moved into the new apartment last week. The next step in finishing my next top is to layer and baste the backing, batting, and top, and THAT is my absolute least favorite part of the quilting process.

My motivation to plow through and get to the next projects is to have the projects packaged up prettily in the plastic boxes, stacked on my closet shelves. What's in the boxes? The top box has lots of Peace on Earth fabric and a layer cake. I'd like to make a quilt for the queen-size bed I'll soon share with the husband-elect, using this pattern from the Moda website (grab it before they take it off to make way for more patterns!). In the bottom box - a Merry & Bright layer cake and some yardage from the same collection. I saw a photo of someone who had created a bowtie quilt from a Peace on Earth layer cake, and I decided I'd like to make one also. I'll keep you posted on how it goes.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

New Crafty Blog to Follow

Have I been in the dark for 99 posts? I just discovered Judi at Green Fairy Quilts via Camille, and may I say, that her quilting is AMAZING. AND she owns an online quilt shop that has great deals on Moda pre-cuts. AND she's having an uber-generous giveaway to celebrate her 100th post! Head over to her blog and leave a comment to enter.

And just so y'all have some fabric to drool over, I've included a photo I took at my parents' place over 4th of July. Mom's been cleaning up her sewing room and unearthed all this Folklorique pre-cuts from Fig Tree. She says she has plans for it, but I'm doubtful. I told her I could take it off her hands to relieve her of the paralysis of indecision :) Fabric lust, anyone?

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

My First Quilt

Camille and Carrie and teamed up to sponsor a quilt parade of sorts for all you quilt bloggers out there - simply post a photo of your first quilt in all of its splendor and glory, then post a photo of your most recently completed quilty project. So, here goes...

My First Quilt - Red Pinwheels

You might say I made this quilt on a whim, sort of. Mom taught me how to sew and quilt when I was pretty young, but I didn't really start venturing out on my own until spring semester of my senior year of college. One night, after I had finished all my reading, essays, book reviews, etc., I decided I would make a quilt. Seeing as how it was about 10pm, the only open venue hawking fabric was WalMart, so I trekked over, picked up all the fabric and supplies I would need, then clumsily started cutting out all my fabric, according to the directions (sort of). Over the next few weeks, I stitched by hand all the little half-square triangles, then a few weeks later, I started basting all the layers together and quilting by hand. Let's be honest, the WalMart fabric probably isn't going to hold up so well over the years, but I'm still proud of it because it's my first independently completed quilt, mis-matched points and all.

Latest Quilt - Woven Roman Stars

I think this quilt is my favorite so far, but I say that about almost all my quilts when I finish them. The pattern is one of the freebies from the Moda website, and I didn't realize how great it was until I got to sewing the blocks together - since the stars are smaller than the blocks, you don't have to worry about all those points matching up. [Insert sigh of relief here.] The middle of the squares are charm squares from Moda's Roman Holiday wovens, and the other fabrics are from various Moda collections. I had a great time quilting this one also. It was my first adventure using tissue paper instead of drawing the design directly on the quilt top, and I loved it! Well, except that now I have to pick out all the itty bitty pieces of tissue paper from the quilting. Does that come out in the wash? Does anyone know? [Sorry there's no link for the quilt pattern. I just checked the Moda website, and it's NOT THERE ANYMORE. If you're interested, email me, and I can scan it and send it off to you.]

Do you have any first and latest projects to show? If so, be sure to sign up in the comments section on Camille's blog post by Monday!!

True confession: When I was younger, I thought my mom was a little nutty for being so obsessed with fabric, quilting, thread, etc. Now, I totally get it.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Menu Plan Monday (on Tuesday again) 7/6/2009-

Monday - Frozen pizza
Tuesday - Whole Wheat Linguine with Green Beans, Tomatoes, and Ricotta, Salad
Wednesday - Tacos
Thursday - The Husband Elect cooks Green Curry (I do the dishes in my fancy pink gloves)
Friday - Slow Cooker Lasagna (with the fake beef crumbles), Salad
Saturday - Cheesy Baked Tortellini, Zucchini
Sunday - Tortilla Black Bean Casserole, Sweet Potato Biscuits

Whenever we go out of town on the weekend, I always feel like I spend the rest of the week catching up. This week was no exception - hence the frozen pizza at the beginning of the week. Now that all the food is planned and purchased, I have to keep unpacking and writing thank you notes for the shower we had last weekend.