Thursday, June 30, 2011

The answer is *always* more monkeys!

I have an incredibly busy day here in my lil' fabric wonderland. I made a list last night to be efficient. Then I threw it away because it looked like too much on paper.

And of course I dreamed of two more quilts. Seriously. So I sketched them out in my design book real quick while I was eating breakfast. Multitasking isn't a luxury around here. It's a necessity.

I thought I'd jump on and share a quick conversation with y'all before I dive into cutting more triangles. It might give you a glimpse into why I call quilting/crafting my 'chaos'. I talk to my mom on the phone a lot. Usually because I'm trying to convince her to mail me things from her stash. I think she refuses to move because of what it means for her fabric stash. But that's another story.

So I'm digging through one of my big Rubbermaid boxes that got packed up in college and then buried in a basement until now.  Because I *know* that there's template plastic in there somewhere. And I need it. Like yesterday.

Me: Seriously. There's template plastic in this box somewhere. And some fabric...OH! Monkey quilt pattern!
Mom: What pattern?
(It's this one)
Me: I should do this. I love monkeys. Oh...wait. This is applique. That means you do it.
(Note: Mom recently had to make a rule. I can't give her any more projects or project ideas...unless it's applique because she loves it while it drives me crazy). 
Mom: I like applique. Send it to me. Wait! I'm already making you two monkey quilts. That'll be three. How many monkey quilts do you need to have?
Me (without pause): Eleven.

Mom laughed.
It's cute that she thinks I'm kidding.

And I just realized that I still never found that stupid template plastic.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

WiP Wednesday

How on earth is it Wednesday already? I could have sworn that I'd have at least another day or two to actually get some noticeable progress this week.

A tiny as it may be I promised to hold myself to a weekly report. So here goes.


Oh hai box! I loves you. I loves you so.
That box right there...weighs twelve pounds. Twelve pounds of fabric goodness. The arrival of the box so early in the day has honestly derailed any progress I was making on other projects.
No specifics yet, but you won't have to wait too long. I'll give this box and its purpose a full post on Friday.


ZZQAL: I haven't touched it this week. The first sewing instructions were released yesterday so it'll get some attention here soon.

That is the cutting table I abandoned when my package arrived. The solids are almost cut. That still leaves about 240 triangles left. I had enough forethought to snap this quick pic after I answered the door to at least show that I'm working on it.

Mother's Keeper: Applique blocks are done. Thread for quilting picked out (totally counts as progress seeing as it took me 20 minutes). No pics since there's a chance that the person this is intended for is spying.

On hold:
Bottled Rainbows: I'm certainly gathering more scraps for this. And my Konas *should* be here today. All of it is just sitting on a shelf waiting for me.

Non-quilt projects:
I think if I don't sit down and make some Batman lunch bags this week I just might be disowned. Fabric has been on the corner of my desk for at least 6 days now.

WiPs: 5
Finished: 0

Linked up to Freshly Pieced. Don't forget to check out what everyone else has been up to.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Dinosaurs Love Cacti (felt embroidery)

Man, I almost made it through that entire weekend without working on a single project. What on earth was I thinking?!

Lucky for me I have half-finished projects all around the bedroom. I knew there was a reason for my unique version of 'organization.'

Since last fall I've been building a Hoopla wall. I've always wanted to fill an entire wall with art and this seemed like a great way to have *two* walls. Did you know that one could go about building a Hoopla wall without having a single hoop of your own creation on it. can. 'Cause somehow I was.

Fixed that. With a quickness.

Dinosaurs <3 Cacti. Or maybe he just thinks he's another dinosaur....

I have to admit: This hoop came about because I have a serious Craftster crush on LimeRiot. Lime recently posted a tutorial on the felt embroidery that she does. I've used felt for stuffies and cat toys but never really considered working with it in a hoop.
Originally it was just going to be a round hoop with the dinosaur. But then when I was digging through my hoop basket I found that oval hoop that my mom had sent me. I'd ignored that oval for months. Always passing it over for circles. Poor oval....
So I reworked my design. I decided that dinosaurs want to be friends with cacti. 'Cause yanno...they do. So logically the dinosaur would try to say hi to him. Or Rawr. (I'm semi-fluent in dinosaur...and robot. But we're getting off track.)

Backed with Dinosaur felt. Because I can.

He'll join the other hoops up on my wall. Which someday I'll get a picture of. In a moment of brilliance I decided to build my hoopla wall around a corner. It makes it just about impossible to photograph.

I'll leave you all on this stormy Monday with the knowledge that I have a box of fabric coming my way. Yes, a box. I'm considering dumping it all out on the bed and rolling around in it when it gets here (no pics, just you left wondering if it really happened). The box means yet another project. One I'm far too excited about. It also means another step of organization for my blog. This project is so huge it's going to get it's own dedicated weekly post.

For now tho', I'm gonna go sit by the door and wait for the mailman. Or watch Hoarders. Same difference.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Slow day (and another new project)

I had this grand to-do list this morning. Nothing overwhelming, just a full day of crafting with a little bit of organizing.

A trip to Joann's was on the list so that I could pick up my solid for the KQAL (who knew they had Kona solids? I certainly didn't until this week). I got distracted by thread. No joke. I must have agonized over thread for the Mother's Keeper Quilt (super awesome thanks again to Melinda for the name suggestion) for twenty minutes. I totally made a decision tho'. So that quilt can move forward. And I got some solid green for KQAL.

Speaking of it, the cutting instructions went up today which was the whole reason I went to get fabric. But I didn't cut it.
Nor did I sew anything on Mother's Keeper.

I did finish two projects for a swap. Which means I can't show pics as proof, yet. But trust happened.
And I did laundry.
And I vacuumed (Oz forced this issue by knocking a plant on the floor).
And I built my design board. Finally!

How can a day so obviously productive when laid out in a list feel so unproductive?

Oh..And I found another project. Yanno...'cause I clearly don't have enough creative chaos.

Years ago I convinced myself I was going to crazy quilt. I bought books and weird ribbons and....stuffed it all in a box. That box moved six states with me and lived in a basement and then in a closet.
Well, the other day I was convinced that I had bought a certain piece of fabric in college. So out comes the storage bin and I dump it on the floor.
This crazy quilt was at the bottom. It's been sitting in an unused chair for a few days. It's something that my mother stumbled across during my crazy quilt phase and picked up for me. The quilt is from the 60s. In college I thought it was cool, yet had no real use for it. I think I've finally reached a point where I'm old enough to actually appreciate it. So I want to finish it. There's enough blocks left for another row. Then I'll back and bind it.

Pardon the over-the-chair-at-night-so-the-light-is-horrid photo. I tried to lay the top out on top of the bed in the afternoon to get a shot.
Oz is always helpful....

So finishing that is now on the WiP list. The squares are built on old Revere cane sugar bags. Of course I got it in my head that I need to find some of those bags to use as part of the backing.
A quilt and a scavenger hunt! Sounds good to me.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

WiP Wednesday

With the sudden flood of quilt alongs that I've joined on top of other sewing projects I certainly needed something to hold me accountable.

WiP Wednesdays is just the thing!

Not only will this allow me to really keep track of progress (the excel spreadsheet just isn't cutting it anymore) but it'll also give my blog a little bit more structure.


Zig and Zag Quiltalong : Finished selecting fabrics and cut strips which gets me caught up to the current week.

 Kaleidoscope Quilt Along: Fabrics pulled from stash. Still need to buy solid.


Gift Quilt for Mom: This thing really needs a name. Best I've come up with is 'Spring Dogs'...which just..I don't like it. All pieces cut. Applique is next up.

On hold:

Bottled Rainbows: Half of my Konas are on back order. Plus I'm lacking in red/orange scraps.

WiPs: 3
Finished: 0

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Kaleidoscope Quilt Along

I couldn't help it. I was at the store today getting some white Kona fabric for the Zig and Zag QAL when my brain told me: "You could do dots and leaves from your stash for the Kal QAL."

So I came home and officially joined the Kaleidoscope Quilt Along (to be referred to in the future as "KQAL" ) at Don't Call me Betsy.

I know I don't have quite enough for the whole quilt, but between scraps and actual yardage I think I have a good start.

I'll pick up some Kona Lime or Kiwi to be my solid. I'm really excited to see how this one turns out.

Quilting: Justifying my fabric stash since 2005

For me, this is the year of quilts. I've kept a binder of patterns that I find inspiring ever since college. Eleven years of browsing quilting magazines makes for a pretty big binder.

I've certainly done quilts before but they were infrequent (and often sent to my mother for binding) but this year it's all on me.

This stack of pieces is on the top of the list to be finished since it's a gift.

And I've been gathering scraps (and ordering Konas) to make a bottled rainbow quilt from Stitched in Color.

Then I found the A Zig and A Zag quilt along at Cut to Pieces. Which I'm totally in on. I still need to finish getting fabric for it this week which means another trip downtown.

And see the Kaleidoscope Quilt Along at Don't Call Me Betsy. I'm tempted. I'm so very tempted. I think tomorrow I'm going to dig through my fabric and see how much I can pull from the stash for this one. If I've got at least 50% on hand...well....a girl can never be working on too many quilts at once, right?

Friday, June 17, 2011

Do you doodle?

I don't think I can doodle. It's certainly something that I try to do. But I think that I force it. I think about my dinosaur pictures for *hours* before I even pick up a pencil. Which is silly, honestly. They're really not that complicated.

I think too much.

I keep sketchbooks beside the bed for nights when I get home and I just want to draw. There's a stack of them. I think they're 1% full. Most of the time I end up writing weird notes in them.

Today I went searching through my books and pictures for the last actual doodle that I did.

This was August 30, 2010. I did it while watching Doctor Who and gave it to my bestie.

I don't know if I'll ever figure out why I can't just sit down and randomly sketch something. Maybe I'll search for some sort of drawing exercises to help me out. It really wouldn't hurt. And I have always been that nerd that actually likes homework.

Monday, June 13, 2011

A little bit of pixelated love

When I'm not crafting (or reading), I'm playing video games. Gaming certainly bleeds over into my art projects. I wanted to share a bit of pixelated love.

I made this about a year ago for my mother. Truthfully, I found the Perler beads buried in my closet while looking for my paintbrushes. I didn't have the money to head to the craft store so I wanted to make something out of my stash. I had planned to do a painting for her seeing as I had been painting for ten years and never given her one. That got derailed. I'm really glad that I found the beads, though. It started a whole trend of pixel art.

This is my most recent work with pixels. This one has finally reached its new home in TN with my swap partner. I didn't want to just make Psyduck out of Perler beads and mount him into a shadowbox like I had done with my mom's gift. So this time I decided to cut out 1/4' squares of paper and place them on canvas board. It was....maddening. The moment it was over I declared that I wasn't working with such small hand-cut squares again.

It's been a few days....and I'm already laying a grid down on another canvas.

Saturday, June 11, 2011


So many things coming together. Nothing is solidified enough yet to warrant a blog post. But it's close. Very close.

Spent the day at the Indie Craft Experience. It was really nice to just be around art and artists who love what they're doing. It reminded me of what I'm working towards. Plus I got to buy robot art. And dinosaur art (pics tomorrow when I have some actual light).

Rounded off the day by finally heading to Whipstitch. It's an absolutely gorgeous space. Of course I came home with a bag full of fabric.

So, nothing too exciting to report as far as actual crafting progress but I still count the day as a success. I didn't realize how much I needed to boost my morale. We forget sometimes that it's okay to take a break. I'm more excited about my projects now than ever.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Back to my Roots

I think that I've mentioned before that I have a tendency to get overwhelmed by projects. I do it to myself. As soon as I get hit with an idea, I run out (or browse online) to get supplies. I'm always afraid that if I don't, I'll lose it.

As flaws go, having too many things to make is an acceptable one to me.

One thing that this does allow for is just simple joy when I work through all the projects that have deadlines and find myself with a free day. A day to get back to my sewing roots. A day to start a new quilt.

This one is a gift (that's the plan at least) so I don't want to go into too many details as far as the layout. But I couldn't resist taking a picture of all that fabric before I started. Those stacks just ready to be cut into tiny strips and squares, only to be pieced back together again. 

I can't wait to sit down at my machine. 

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Keys to her Heart: My first embroidery

I got word that my swap partner received her hoop which means that I can finally post pictures here (overseas shipping is rather stressful).

I've always done cross-stitch. Well, that is to say that I started out with cross-stitch when I was a young girl then set it aside for almost two decades. It wasn't until now, years after college, that I was able to really appreciate the amazing things that can be done with cross-stitch. As of last fall, I picked it back up again.

Embroidery seemed like too difficult a thing for me. I liked my x's. Embroidery just had all these *stitches* and don't even try and ask me about french knots. Yet the 5th round of the Hoopla swap came up and here I was...looking at an embroidery pattern.

My partner had keys on her wist and had also listed hearts in her interests. The theme for this round was to work within a single color spectrum. I started with the robin's egg blue and went from there.

I'm really proud of this piece. I can certainly see the mistakes in it. It doesn't look as refined. But it was my first embroidery ever. I feel like I've opened another crafting door and that is always exciting.