Friday, February 24, 2012

It's Friday...everybody say whoop whoop!

It is Friday - yay! I'm having a really full day today: early a.m. teleconferences, art docent volunteer at Wild Things classroom, more work work, catch up my blogs a little, 3 errands to run, lunch with a dear friend I haven't seen in ages, a mammogram (note to self: remember the advil!), Little league baseball practice, Boy Scout Pinewood Derby. I expect to be exhausted and ready for sleep after all this, but I like these kind of days where I am forced to juggle a bit to get everything accomplished.  Often I don't get it all done, but that's usually okay too.

Okay, my Friday Whoop Whoop linky project is this quilt for a brand new baby girl who I haven't gotten to meet yet!  I showed a little preview of this when I was still piecing it together - now it's quilted and bound, washed for the crinkles, and ready to go (though I may redo the label as you will see...)

The prints are from the Sherbet Pips line - most "modern" quilters will recognize this popular print - I've had these charm packs in my stash for a long time just waiting for the right project.  A couple of close shots:

I really love these little prints!  I used Kona Snow for the sashings, Kona Med. Gray for the binding, and a blue polka dot flannel backing. The quilting is simple diagonal lines shadowing the inside and outside of the patches.  I haven't done much straight line quilting (or any quilting as I'm still new to that part), but if you don't examine it too closely I think it looks pretty cool with the lines as opposed to an all over stipple.

My one disappointment is that the label bled a little in the wash.  I may decide to redo it - I used a black sharpie, but forgot to heat set it (I assume that will work, but if anyone knows it won't please let me know!). I may run down to Beverly's and look for a pen made specifically for fabric though.  This is my first actual label. I have (sometimes) stitched my initials and the year onto quilts, but I usually forget to do that even!

Nice to have a finish this week!

The other thing I did in the past couple of weeks was join the Craftsy BOM class (it's Free!) - each month there are two blocks to practice a new piecing method.

January was "slash" blocks: 
block #1
block #2
February was HSTs made two ways and then putting them together for different looks.  Piecing the small HSTs (3 inch finished) was more challenging than I expected, especially for the 2nd block which I think I will do over to get it right - the seams are not all lined up and I used scrap HSTs to replace the ones I botched first try - so the red HSTs are not with Kona Snow, but a cream color.  The first block came out a bit smaller than it was supposed to because my 1/4 in seams weren't "scant" enough, but I think it may still work.  If not I will have to do that one over. 
block #1
block #2
I am not using a FQ bundle of coordinated prints - I have to work on using up some more stash fabrics, and I think it doesn't matter so much for the more scrappy look of a sampler. I pulled a rainbow of fabrics and scraps to use. We'll see! I've never made a sampler quilt or BOM quilt, so I'm curious to see how I like it in the end.

I hope you all have a great weekend!
For more craft goodness, check out Sara's Whoop Whoop Linky party! (bonus this week - there's a giveaway too!)

And I found some other fun linkies, like TGEFF party at Quilter in the Gap !

And Sew and Tell Friday at Amylouwho:

Monday, February 20, 2012

Dragon Slayer!

Today was a school holiday of course, and Mr. Wonderful is a public servant, so he had the day off too. What could I do?  Even though I hadn't finished my presentation for 8am tomorrow morning, I took a vacation day to spend with the family.

We took BART into SF and visited the Children's Creativity Museum at Yerba Buena Gardens -it used to be called Zeum, but we'd never been there before.  There are several different studios and labs where kids of various ages can create, invent, build, record, compose, etc etc. It was pretty fun!  Teen Wonder and I made a claymation video - neither of us really knew what we were doing, so the video runs too fast to catch all the details. Watch it a few times so you can see the pool of blood, for example!

Note that the Dragon Slayer is a hot babe - Teen Wonder built her! Check out the insignia on her shield (my contribution)! See how the terrified villager comes back and kisses her feet!  You really do have to watch it more than once. Next time we do something like this we will definitely add some frames to pause and slow down the action more.

Viva La Dragon Slayer!

I have some other creative projects underway, but WIPs only, so I'll have to come back later in the week with some photos and updates.  Happy President's Day - I hope some of you had worthy adventures too!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Happy Valentine - tutorial style!

Just a little post to say thanks to all you crafty geniuses who provide awesome tutorials and free printables!
And to everyone reading, I hope you had a lovely Valentine's Day.  

Wild Thing took all the heart crayon valentines (I mentioned them before, but here is the link that includes the printable card too - Thanks to Ellen at The Long Thread!) for his class.  Also, he and I painted this canvas tote bag based on this tutorial at V & Co. for his teacher. It turned out really nice!

Teen Wonder helped decorate a batch of Grandmother Orr's Sugar Cookies (secret family recipe normally used for Christmas cookies - this is the first time I've used it for another holiday!) cut out in various heart shapes for Wild Things class party and for her to pass out to some friends. But I didn't take a photo and now they are mostly eaten or given away.  Oh well!

We had a nice family dinner and traded Valentines here at home - everyone got chocolate of some sort - then finished watching "Mary Poppins".  It doesn't sound very romantic, does it?  But it was a nice evening nonetheless.  And not bad for a holiday that many people consider a "made-up" holiday anyway!

Friday, February 10, 2012

A couple of current knitting projects + bonus "Versatile blogger" award!

I wanted to just show a could of WIPs that I'm knitting.  One is a colossal project - the "Sweet and Lowdown Chair" by Vernoik Avery.  I bought the yarn for this more than a year ago, and found the discontinued IKEA chair for the pattern on Craigslist (unbelievable, and I took it as a sign that I was meant to knit the chair cover.  I mean the pattern was in Interweave Knits in 2004, and the chair probably was discontinued shortly after - since Ravelry only lists 6 projects, and if you open that tab there are only 3 that aren't the original pattern. And one of them is mine!

This is the picture from the pattern

Mine is not even half finished yet, though I'm getting there for the top half of the chair cover...

Anyway, this is the stay-at-home next to the sofa project. It probably has a lot of mistakes in the center panel because I've had a hard time keeping to the chart while watching a show or movie. But blocked I'm hoping it will look more like the original.  Also, my yarn is "Oatmeal" rather then "Natural" - something I didn't notice until I got quite a bit of knitting done. But I think it will work just fine.  When I get it done some time in the next Millennium.

This WIP is a "Honey Cowl" that I had seen on a few blogs and then found the pattern by Madeline Tosh on Ravelry as a free download. This pattern seems to be wildly popular! It is a very easy knit, so this project is my current traveling project. It would look good in some bright color, so there may be multiples on the horizon (something I never do - I don't think I've knitted the same thing more than once except one baby sweater pattern that I used twice.

To make this post extra long, I bring you my new nomination for "Versatile blogger Award".  Thanks to Brita at Scraps of Happiness for this honor! Please stop by her blog and check it out. I love this quilt WIP on her design board:

 There are rules to accepting this honor:
1. Add the award to your blog
2. Thank the blogger who gave it to you.
3. Mention seven random things about yourself. (see below)
4. List the rules.
5. Award to 15 bloggers.
6. Inform each of those 15 by leaving a comment on their blog

Seven random things about myself
1) I love wearing heels even though I'm already tall - puts me at or over 6 feet!
2) Whenever I make pie, that's what I eat for breakfast. If I'm taking a pie to a potluck, I'll make 2 just so I'll have some to eat for breakfast the next day.
3) I love Necco wafers, but I never eat them anymore (diabetes)
4) I got to drive a tractor before I drove a car (I was 11 or 12)
5) I used to think I was extroverted, but turns out I'm more of an introvert than I appear at first glance.
6) I can knit, but I can't seem to get the hang of crochet even though it's supposedly easier.
7) I scream when something scary suddenly happens in a movie - in a theater, on an airplane - even sometimes if I've seen the movie before.

Picking 15 bloggers to honor as versatile bloggers, hmmm... okay, here goes!

1. Suzanne at  (hey, I just saw she's also knitting a honey cowl!)
11. Vesuviusmama at My Patchwork Life:
14. Yvonne's Patchwork at

Now go forth and surf these cool blogs!!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Finally back in my crafty space and piecing a new quilt!

For several weeks, my craft space has been such a mess that I didn't feel inspired to go down there and work on any projects. Never mind the fact that I couldn't really find my projects, or a clean surface to cut or layout anything.  Then the whole space exploded to cover the entire basement "fun room" as I started sorting and putting fabric in boxes large and small, including sorting my scraps. This was a drag for everyone else in the family, since they couldn't really use the space - it's a good place to escape to when our house is feeling especially small.

Last weekend, Wild Thing and Mr. Wonderful went to a boy scout snow weekend - I was supposed to go, but I really am not at 100% and up for large crowd activities. Plus, I'm not in good enough shape to go skiing without injuring myself!  But on the upside, I had time to really get my craft space organized.  I hung a shelf and rack and pegs for my cutting rulers and T-squares...and I moved a lot of things around to maximize the space.  I don't have before photos, and these are a little dark, but it feels so much better!

My main work space - I can pull out the small table where the serger sits to have full access to the cutting space. All the shelf and hanging items are new - it feels good to have the tools I need often right out there.

Main storage area for yarn, fabric, and other crafty stuff (beads, paints, etc.
Larger cuts of fabric, batting, polyfil, etc are stored in large plastic bins that stack up or can be tucked underneath the work table.

This cleanup came just in time because I'm behind on some things, like this baby quilt, in progress - and there are a couple of other babies "in the works" that I'd like to make something for.  Having extra time over the weekend was such a nice luxury - I missed our boys, but didn't mind the time to focus on a couple of projects (plus I did 95% of our taxes - but that wasn't as fun or satisfying!)

For this quilt, I am using the 2 charm packs of Sherbet Pips that I had squirreled away and unearthed during my re-org.  I found a nice pattern in the Moda Bakeshop - the Baby Lattice Quilt by Amy Smart.  Perfect for 2 charm packs - I have quite a few extra charms that have a white background and I thought wouldn't work as well for this quilt - but I'm sure I'll find something to use them for!

Since this is a WIP, and it's Wednesday now when I managed to finish writing this post - I'm linking up to WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced.  Happy Wednesday!

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced