Wednesday, March 30, 2011

WIP Wednesday

This week is all about machine quilting. I always wonder why I procrastinate and procrastinate a little bit more when it comes to machine quilting. I always enjoy it when I'm working on it. There's something oddly meditative about the hum of the machine.

fandango snowballs - quilting in progress

Here's a peek at what I've done so far. I'm using a design that I found in this book. I wish I could say that I have a very profound system for picking out my quilt design. But I don't. I only have a few criteria: 1) it must not be too difficult with lots of loops and swirls 2) it can't be too girly (to appease the Husbatron) and 3) the original design must roughly fit in the space I have for it, since I don't have easy access to a copier for resizing the design.

At 3.5" inches, I thought this design was perfect for the 4.5" snowballs.

Once I've decided on my designs, I usually use this method to apply them to the quilt.

After I finish quilting the designs in the individual snowballs, I'll do some stitching in the ditch, followed by some stippling in the cream background to highlight the charm squares. My goal has been to stitch the designs on 7 snowballs (1 row's worth) each night, and then to stitch in the ditch around the hexagons and the tiny diamonds between the hexagons.

Tonight, I'm taking a brief break to work on my Bee Splendid blocks for Sarah. She sent us some Nicey Jane fabrics (squeal!) to make this block.

nicey jane prints for bee splendid

Time to get crackin'. Hope everyone's having a productive week!

I'm linking up to WIP Wednesday, hosted by Lee at Freshly Pieced.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

No Excuses

You remember how a couple of weeks ago, I proclaimed that I would be having my own Machine Quilting March Madness? Well, true to form, I underestimated how long it would take me to piece a quilt top I started back at the beginning of the month.

to baste

It's not that the top was all that difficult (tutorial coming soon!). It's just been more difficult lately to make time to sew consistently. The advent of spring always brings with it a renewed fervor for housework, organization, and visions of landscaping grandeur. I try to take advantage of all this domestic motivation when it strikes me, because I know it's definitely temporary and fleeting.

Since the other March Madnesses are winding down (Go Heels!), and since the weather in NC this weekend has been absolutely abysmal, making yardwork a non-starter, I spent a few hours basting a few of my quilt tops. After today, I'll have no excuses for not quilting these tops. The hard work is almost behind me, and the fun can soon begin.

to quilt

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Best of My World

It's been FOREVER since I've done one of these posts, so bear with me. I have a good number of links to share. Hope you find something useful among them!


CRAFTINESS


FOOD


LIFE

  • Awwwwwww - You can't look at this photo and say you aren't a dog-lover.
  • 40 Productivity Hacks - For me there would only be one hack: get off the Internet. But that's no fun. Click on if you're looking for other ways to get more stuff/sewing done. 

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Color Aversions (cont'd)

Remember how a couple of weeks ago I shared how I'm not a fan of orange, even though it seems that I subconsciously do like the color? Little did I know that the envelope of fabric for my February bee blocks that I have been studiously ignoring was chock full of orange prints. Jeanette sent out a wide range of colors, and each bee member received lots of prints in the same color. Mine was orange.

Confession: I hadn't even opened my bee block envelope for February when I wrote that post 4 days before the end of the month.

Anyways, I'd like to submit this turn of events as evidence that I serve a God with a sense of humor.

All color aversions aside, you guys, I LOVE these blocks.

spiderweb block #2

You could still ask me, "Megan, how do you feel about orange?" And my first reaction would still be, ULGH.

But I love these blocks in all their orange-ness.

Spiderweb block #1

If you need me, I'll be over here in denial about my color preferences.

Here's what we're eating this week:

  • Sunday: Monterrey after the Triangle Modern Quilt Guild meeting
  • Penne with Vodka Sauce and Sauteed Asparagus
  • Macaroni and Cheese, Green Beans (holdover from last week)
  • Sweet Potato and Black Bean Quesadillas, Avocado
  • Fried Tofu with Green Curry and Rice (one of the Husbatron's specialties)
  • Pizza, Salad
  • Veggie Burgers, Tater Tots, Carrots

Monday, March 7, 2011

Decisions, decisions, decisions

Mmmm, ahhhhh, take a deep breath with me. Is anyone else starting the week with a different project than what they worked on the previous week? This past weekend, I gifted the pillow I made last week for a christening gift, and now I'm taking the month of March to work on projects that I want to work on and hopefully bring some closure to my life by finishing a few projects. Next up is a quilt from some Fandango for my Just One Charm Pack series.

fandango - get this party started!

At the beginning of every week, I have a ritual that's become so ingrained that I hardly even think about it any more. I decide what project I'd like to focus on that particular week, and then I break down the project into various steps that need to be completed and assign 2 or 3 steps to each day of the week in my Google Tasks. There's something so satisfying about checking that little box and seeing the task crossed out.

fandango todo

Before you start rolling your eyes at my OCD-ness and type-A personality, be reassured that my plans are often derailed by Wednesday, if not Tuesday, because sometimes that Law and Order marathon is just so dang tempting. Case in point: I still haven't backed up my hard drive (due on February 26).

This week, I decided I'm in a piecing kind of mood, mainly because the machine I prefer for machine quilting is in its case and not already set up on my sewing table. For the pillow last week, I had to bust out my trusty Pfaff to applique. Since it's already on the table, I might as well use it to start a brand spankin' new project.

trusty old pfaff

Anyone else have any new projects to start this week?

Here's what we're eating this week:



Check out this week's edition of Menu Plan Monday for other dinner menus.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

I'm Blushing

I know the day's almost over, but if you're still awake, hop over to Sarah's blog - she was kind enough to feature me in her Surfin' Sundays post today! To any one who found me via Sarah - thanks so much for stopping by! I hope to hear from you soon.

Thanks, Sarah for all the sweet words you had to say! I'm so glad we've been able to get to know each other a little better via Bee Splendid.

If you don't follow Sarah, you're missing out on the life and times of one productive and generous quilter.

I hope everyone is preparing for a great week! We've been out of town all weekend visiting family. We had a great time, as usual, but I'm awfully glad to be at home and back in the sewing room. I'll try to be back tomorrow with pictures (!) and food (!).

Thursday, March 3, 2011

March Madness - All Kinds

Mom visited last week for a few days, specifically so we could take a day and explore the Mid-Atlantic Quilt Festival up in Hampton, VA. The whole trip was excellent. I think Mom had a good time, I know I did. Let me just tell you that there is something about my mother's very presence that ignites a fabric-buying frenzy in me. She's never been pushy or a nag. She doesn't drop subtle hints. It's just my irrational reaction to her aura, and it's gotten worse since the 'rents moved far far away.

When she visited last August, I very efficiently acquired 13 yards of fabric in just a few hours. I think I might have matched that total this past weekend. It was awesome. Very rarely do I let myself go like that, when it comes to spending money on fabric. I tend to very carefully and judiciously mete out relatively small bits of my fabric allowance at a time to evenly distribute the acquisition of fabric throughout the month. I didn't exercise that kind of self-control at the quilt show.

After this past weekend, I have no fabric allowance left for the next 6 or so weeks. If you need me, you'll find me at my sewing machine, merrily quilting away with my new fabric or catching up on my email and google reader.

Even happier news is that a good chunk of my allowance was spent "responsibly." Thanks to thousandsofbolts and my already ample stash, I now have enough fabric to back and bind 4 quilts - I'm planning to work on this one
Gobble Gobble NIne Patch

this one
IMG_2208

this one
Schnibbles Winter White

and then finally piece and quilt something from this fabric.
IMG_1806-e

Oh, but first I have a project to finish for a christening gift this weekend. That's right, the weekend that starts tomorrow. It's almost done. I just have to add the label with the Bible verse to the back.

Hot off the presses

Thus, I am declaring March to be the month of Machine Quilting Madness in my house. Hopefully, I won't run out of thread.

There's yet another type of March madness kicking off this week - have y'all seen Fat Quarterly's March Modern Fabric Madness? They've set up brackets, squaring off some of the most popular fabric lines from recent years against each other. Be sure to fill out your brackets and cast ballots for your favorites - the first round of voting is up and open until this Saturday, March 5th! I can't wait to see who wins!

Finally, lest you think we're starving ourselves in the name of machine quilting, here's what we've been eating this week: