27 March 2013

Better late than...


Pregnant? (As Blanche Deveroux from Golden Girls would say)

While both are important, this particular post will focus on the only relevant topic: Better late than never.

I am incredibly late for WIP Wednesday. Wait. It is only Wednesday. I'm not actually late. Woohoo! I just feel so rushed this week.

The only non-new project I worked on this week was sewing space/bedroom (same room, people!) organization. It is still incredibly cluttered, but it is starting to feel more usable. On the cube shelf to the left of the photo I have my yardages of fabric folded into tiny bolts so that they are easily accessible. In the plastic drawers under the concrete skull, I have fat quarter storage. (See this post for more info on the amazing and perfectly sized drawers!) They fit perfectly in these drawers! Finally in the lime green Ikea drawers, I have notions, interfacing, giant yardages for backing, tops, blocks, more fat quarters, BOMs I am horribly behind on, and yarn.

Aside from the colossal and seemingly endless monster that is organization, I really only worked on new projects this week. I finished the March block for Color Bee Shocked. Mallory wanted different stars (unfinished @ 8.5"). I used the galaxy star paper pieced pattern by Moira McSpadden.

I also made two commissioned pouches for a coworker. The first one is a pencil pouch and the second one is a big carry-all bag for her GoPro and GoPro accessories.

As far as new projects go, I started working on the front and back for a pillowcase I am making. One side will be in cool colors, one side will be in warm colors.

The cool color side is nearly done!

I also started working on something secret. They looked so cute and garlandy after chain piecing that I had to snap a photo!

What could it be?! Oh, alright, I'll tell! It's a Dresden plate! Well, half of one. This is my first time playing with them and I am loving it! Sometimes handwork makes me very happy. :) As for what I'm using these for, you will have to stay tuned.

I am leaving you with an adorable picture I took at my favorite German restaurant. They drew my mustard into hearts! Aww!

20 March 2013

Farewell, Spring Break

Spring Break has officially ended. Truth be told, it ended yesterday, but I was [am?] still in denial. Luckily my students are now well rested and are being cooperative and dare I say it, pleasant. *Gasp!*

I barely made any progress on anything over the week for I was too busy trying to avoid doing anything. Plus, I was out of town for the last three days of the week.

Speaking of out of town time, here are two photos that show the hilarious distortion that can happen when using a GoPro. Both of these pictures are taken on the same camera, with the same settings, and of the same building (just from different sides and at different distances) but one has major fish eye and one is normal. I'm sure the distance is what makes the difference. I'm so thrilled this fish-eye effect doesn't effect underwater photos. The pictured building is the public library of Fredericksburg, Texas.

Ahh, back to crafting. The only things I did manage to work on were little. Mostly because all of the quilts I am making have no deadlines since they are just for funsies.

Here is what I have done so far on the Honeycomb Stitch Along. The hexies have been appliqued down, which is very exciting for me. Actually since this photo was taken, I have finished the embroidered honey bees, but all of the natural light is gone so no photos of that can be provided.

The final project I accomplished was the completion of a grocery bag pattern I had been meaning to try. The pattern is by Michelle Patterns and can be found here.

I had a dream last night that the plastic bag ban had passed here instead of Austin (fingers crossed it will pass here in a few years!) and woke up thinking holy shit, I gotta make some bags! To try out this pattern, I made two matching bags, one for myself, and one for my bff. Background story on the fabric selection: neither my bff nor I eat shellfish (she has religious reasons, I'm just allergic). Somehow though we have this inside joke about the "celebratory lobster." Way back in high school, her mom bought us a life sized plastic lobster from the dollar store and from then on we would pass it back and forth whenever one of us accomplished something awesome. Then it branched out into lobster cookie cutters, and anything lobster themed we could get our hands on.

Imagine my surprise when I found lobster fabric at a quilt store while visiting Denver, Colorado last year! Spweee! I had been holding onto it, knowing whatever project it was used in had to be matching for the two of us. Then I decided grocery bags would be the most appropriate.

So here is the one for her with a browny tan/red flowery handles and lining.

And here is the one for me with blue and white damask handles and lining.

Yay! Hers is going to be a birthday present. Nothing calls for a celebratory lobster like a birthday! ;)

13 March 2013

Week of Pouches + Quilt Finish

As the title of this blog would suggest, I finished a lot of pouches this week. Well, that and a quilt. I will start with the quilt.

This is the quilt I made for my friend Connie. She recently moved to Tennessee in order to help take care of her sick parents. She is a total badass. I generally make quilts for people when they get married, have a baby, or buy a house. Connie has already been married multiple times and is never doing that again, has no children and is already 40 something, and has no interest in home ownership. So I made her a "you are a total badass, I love you, and I wish you weren't moving away" quilt. I outsourced some of the blocks and had the wonderful women of Color Bee Shocked make some (about half) and I made the rest. FYI: Connie's favorite color is blue.

And since she and I met through scuba diving and she has worked at aquariums, zoos, and Sea World, I decided this would be the most appropriate backing fabric of all time.

On an unrelated note, I was able to eat the first strawberry from my garden this week. Unfortunately my chickens have now broken into the garden and eaten the rest of them. How sad.

Another highly appropriate title for this blog would be something about my blue phase, because I am obviously going through one, as you are about to see.

I had been itching to try my teeny tiny pinwheel tool, and decided to give it a try while also utilizing a zipper in order to improve on that skill. The main fabric for this pouch is linen, which really gives a nice texture.

Then my mom asked if I could make her a case for her Kobo (e-reader from the late Borders). Based on the measurements, I whipped this up. Unfortunately, it only fit a Kobo not wearing a silicone skin, which hers does. So this first one will be for sale in my etsy store eventually.

Then I adjusted the measurements, and came up with the perfect case that fits her skin wearing Kobo perfectly. Yay!

Lastly, I also made myself a coin purse that will double as a loyalty ticket holster. This project was inspired by Sunday lunch with my boyfriend. We went to pay and needed a nickel. I knew I had at least one nickel, but it was nearly impossible to find in my purse with the lining that eats everything. It was that moment when I decided to slowly eradicate anything fabricy that is not made by me! Woohoo. Anyways, here is my new change purse.

Methinks I might be addicted to the little pinwheel tool! It just makes perfect pinwheels so incredibly easy. It actually feels a bit wrong. Then I finish a project in one night and that shame goes right out the window.

Also, the lighting in that picture makes the colors look wrong. The purple is actually a nice, fun purple like this:

...But you would never know it is purple by looking at the photo, would you? Oh well.

Ooo! Today I finally received my fabric kit for the Echinops and Aster Honeycomb Pillow QAL. I am fairly excited to start stitching and get caught up.

Unfortunately, I made no more progress on anything else. But I finished things, so yay! It is spring break which means I feel okay not getting much of anything done, as long as I don't have to talk to any students. ;)

05 March 2013

Scuba & Sewing

If you are just passing by and find yourself short on time, please scroll to the bottom of this post and give me some advice on how to finish a quilt. It would be most appreciated!

I got a lot of work done this week. I finished three more of the blocks for the 3x6 bee (First two found here). I am in Hive C, the pinwheels hive. I am making the flying geese in a circle paper pieced blocks, even though they aren't really pinwheels. My hive-mates were okay with the idea. To make these, I am using charms from charm swaps. Now I only have one more of these to make which means I might be done early!

This first one is for Michelle:

This second one is for Nell:

And this third one is for Allison:

I also finished the February block for Quilting newBEES. I really enjoyed the fabric she sent out for us to use.

I also bought a new toy: A GoPro Hero 3 Black Edition. Spweee! So naturally, I had to make a bag to store it and the accompanying accessories. This might very well be the only GoPro in the whole wide world with a quilted zippered pouch. My hobbies are fairly eclectic: Quilting and Scuba! What is ridiculously exciting is that I made this zippered pouch without muttering a single curse word! Take that, zippers! Muahahaa!

I used Frolic by Wendy Slotboom which might very well be my favorite fabric line ever (there is even a second project in this post that was able to utilize it). I am practically hoarding it, but actually using it, which cancels out the hoarding...

Speaking of scuba diving, my boyfriend and I drove up to Mammoth Lake (3ish hours away, outside of Houston) for some frigid diving. The water was only 60 degrees, which felt warm compared to the 50 degree air temperature which was coupled with insanely ferocious wind that made exposed skin feel like it was burning. Because of this, we opted to stay in the water and do one long dive instead of multiple shorter dives. Really, I just wanted to play with my GoPro. So here are a few pictures. This first one showcases one of the best features of the GoPro, the lens flare generator. I kid, I kid. So artsy, though.

This is what I look like when I'm freezing to death.

On one of the sunken boats, there was a whole colony of tiny little fish! Also, these pictures are green because they were taken at the bottom of a murky lake.

Here is my boyfriend doing and underwater upside-down happy dance. He has skills.

One of the things I love most about Mammoth Lake is how much stuff there is to see. The owners understand what divers want, which is tons of crap to look at. They are always sinking new stuff. Take this car. To me, it looks like the sort of vehicle you could expect to see Cruella DeVille racing around the country in as she, Horace, & Jasper attempt to track down a pack of dalmatian puppies.

There are many sunken boats, cars, motorcycles, statues (King Kong, a mammoth, a giant bug, etc.) and even an old C130 that has been chopped up so you can swim through it. This next photo is of the inside of boat where someone left the fridge door open!

I also spent some time this weekend making cupcakes for an early St. Patrick's Day party that my cousin hosted on Friday. I made margarita cupcakes because they are green and boozey albeit not Irish. Yumm. I used my old standby recipe from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World and made it a little not vegan because sometimes I get rebellious.

Lastly. I started working on my Down the Rabbit Hole quilt (Pattern by Cut to Pieces & found here). I used 30's repro fabric for the twisting arms and more Frolic from Wendy Slotboom for the middle hexagon. I was eager to try this because it reminds me of the Portal logo, and that is the quilt I was thinking about making my TA (if he ever shows up to labs,that is!). Hopefully I can transfer these new skills into that quilt.

So here is my epic dilemma with this. The pattern prescribes it to be a picnic quilt, which is great. I could finish it off now with home dec backing and be done with it. But I hardly picnic. I live in South Texas. It is over 100 degrees for most of the year. Picnicking is frowned upon, unless you enjoy heat stroke and sunburns. I could make it and sell it, I suppose.

Or I could use it as the front of a baby quilt, but no one I know is pregnant. C'mon! Someone get preggo!

Or I could add a little more Frolic around the edges to make it bigger and have an oddly shaped throw blanket.

I have no idea what to do. Any input or helpful suggestions?

Picnic quilt? Baby quilt? Throw quilt? Ahhh!

Wow, apparently I did a horrible job of flattening out the ripples in this quilt before photographing. I took the picture inside because the wind was too bad outside. But then I left the front door open in order to optimize natural light, so it was still blowing around like crazy.

Anyways, that would be all my WIPs that I actually made progress on. My goals for the month are to decide what needs to be done with the hexagon quilt and to finish the eye quilt. What have you been up to?