28 August 2013

Back in Texas!

FYI: This post is random, even for me. It is a mix of sewing projects and travel photos from Ireland.

I dug up all of the scraps from my Super Swoon octopus quilt and decided to start using them. First, I finished a 16" block for a throw pillow. I still have plenty of scraps leftover, so who knows what will happen!

The day before I left for Ireland, I realized two things:
  1. I had no hand sewing project to work on during the trip.
  2. I had no pouch big enough to hold a hand sewing project that didn't exist. 
I had been itching to make a cheesy EPP something out of 30s reproduction prints, and this seemed like the perfect time. The final decision was to make pinwheels out of half hexagons! I have no idea how many pinwheels I will make or how big the quilt will get, but at least I have a handiwork project to last a few trips. 

Here are the half hexies I finished basting on the plane to and from Ireland. They are 3" half hexagons which means the three short sides are 3" long. 

And here is the zippered pouch I whipped up to keep my supplies in. I used hexie fabric for the top stripe. In this picture, the pouch and I are at Giant's Causeway in Northern Ireland. At this place, there are a ton of hexagonal rock formations and it happens to be one of the most gorgeous places I have ever been.

Here are some pictures of Giant's Causeway I took.

And because none of the pictures I took really do the place justice, here is a photo borrowed from Google.

Speaking of Ireland, I found some awesome quiltspiration while I was there. This first one is the sidewalk in Cork, Ireland.

Then we have some ridiculously expensive socks I found in a shop window in Dublin. The picture is horrible but the socks are incredible! Each of them would make a great quilt!

These next two are the floor in an incredible little pub in Cork called the Hi B Bar. The place was tiny but so charming. They had a no phone rule and opera playing on the radio. The third generation owner was there and he spent a good amount of time talking to us. So awesome!

I decided to work on the front for another throw pillow. Here is the evolution of planning for me. I start with fabrics cut to various sizes and arrange them in  pleasing way. These are all going to be flying geese. 

Once I like the way they are arranged, I make paper representations of these and work on getting the layout to be workable (as in no y-seams!). FYI: I took this photo after the fact, so the next step is already done. But I swear, I did spend a lot of time moving these suckers around 1/4" by 1/4" to make sure there were no y-seams!

Then I figure out how this is going to play out into blocks that I can sew together.

Then I make it! Taaadaaaa! (The tada really helps!)

I also finished up my project for Mug Rug Revival. I did the FMQ! It isn't great, but I am getting better. :)

Oo! And I fit in some cooking! The Brussels sprouts are from MY garden! The other thing is sundried tomato and pesto risotto with chunks of goat cheese brie melting into it. Omnomnom.

I also got a quilt back from the quilters and finished off the binding. Didn't expect to like Simply Style fabric as much as I did! Well, I did have to add the green which is from Zen Chic. 

Here is a closeup of the quilting, done by Kenneth Butler.

Aaaaand here is the obligatory backing/binding shot.

Wooo! It looks as though a lot has been accomplished, which is wonderful because the semester starts next week and I have a full-time teaching load this semester. Also, I'm moving. But I might be in denial about having to actually pack up all of my sewing stuff. *sigh*

I am leaving you with another picture from Ireland. A very important picture from Ireland. My boyfriend and I with our first pints of Guinness in Ireland, about 1 hour after our plane landed! Sláinte, y'all! 

07 August 2013

Calm Before the Storm

I am in that awkward time of year again: The calm before the storm. I start back up as a full-time adjunct college professor in the beginning of September and until then am relishing my time with only one job. Of course by relishing my time I mean sewing my butt of!

Plus, the power steering on my car went out, came back, went out again, and came back again so I am trying to not go anywhere that isn't a requirement (Can't I just stay home and sew instead of going to work? My car is quasi-broken!) which leaves me with a lot of time at home to sew.

I have been working on another purse except this one is for my upcoming trip to Ireland!

Sadly I selected directional fabric and because of the pieces that fold over, some of my trees are coming out upside down. This is ridiculously frustrating to me, so I didn't even take a picture and will probably never finish the bag in this fabric.

But wait! There was happy progress also! I finally decided to sit down and force myself to try more FMQ. I am still too scared to try anything too big, and had only done a teensy bit on a mini-quilt, so I decided to make a potholder. For all of you Billy Madison fans out there, I made the fox blue because I'd never seen a blue fox and I wanted to see one.

Here are a couple of close-ups that show the FMQ.

I used linen for her tail and cheeks and opted to leave these un-quilted so she would look extra poofy and adorable! My mom called dibs on the little fox potholder before she was even done.

I also started messing around with stuff for Mug Rug Revival. Not sure if this will be what I go with, and I can't say much about my partner's wishes to get advice, but this is what I have come up with so far. I was going to start doing some FMQ on it, but the needle on my sewing machine broke and shot at my eye! Scary!

I also finished up the puppy dog quit.  It is a sample for my local quilt shop. I have no idea what to do with it when it come back to me.

Here is a close-up of the quilting, done by Kenneth Butler.

The reason I wasn't able to get a TON of sewing done this weekend was that it was a scuba weekend. The shop I work at had a trip to Reveille Peak Ranch, about 4 hours away. I was actually leading this trip which meant more talking than diving for me. We had almost 20' visibility which is amazing for a murky Texas lake!

The lake is actually an old granite quarry, so the water sparkles!

We even took the dogs! Of course they spend most of the weekend asleep under a tree, but they did both get swimming lessons!

Right now I am a little in-between projects. Mostly I need to come up with a hand sewing project to take to Ireland. The tricky bit is that it needs to be small since I am limiting myself to just a backpack. But for now, I am leaving y'all with a preview of the 2013 Quilt Across Texas Shop Hop fabric. This is the panel that will be available. It is all postage stamps with the major cites! Ack! Can't wait until September to buy it!