Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Fencing Matilda

Did you know that flowers are really just loops?  And not terribly consistent ones at that?  Yup, turns out that's all they are.  Check out my free motioning:

I don't know if you can even see it, but I used pale pale pink along the fences to doodle daisy chains (at least that's what I'm calling them).  They're reasonably forgiving for the most part.

Now, the big question of the day.  Do I wear the jeans that are clearly too small (but are nice jeans and I'm tired of wearing polyester) or do I wear the polyester pants that fit better, are a little too long, but don't emphasize how bad quilting has been for my hindquarters?  Either way I'm wearing The Boots.

I've decided to start implementing a rewards program for myself...sewing is no longer something I just "get" to do...no no, ladies and gent, it has to be earned.  No more sewing without working out first.  Minimum of 500 calories burned.  This quilter's/desk jockey's spread has got to stop, and soon.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Save a Horse

Last night was a good night.  I left work at 5:15, was at the gym on the last available elliptical by 5:45.  Maybe I'll need a different gym time.  After that, we went home, showered, went to La Carreta (our go-to spot when there's a reason to celebrate/mourn/eat), went to Lowe's for more mud, B&N for puppy books, then Walmart for puppy/kitty gear.  And THEN I came home and put the borders on the front and back of "Ride a Cowboy"! PHEW!  I LOVE this commute!!!

Work was good.  I think I'm really going to like it here.  Well, I do really like it here.  The sodas are free (thank God for small favors...and they carry Coke products...Pepsi might've been a deal breaker) and the people are just great.  The products are still thoroughly confusing, but the software (the stuff I'll use to write the doc) seems simple enough.  Overall, I feel really good about the whole thing.  Even the fact that when I got there, there was no water (water main break) and we had to use the other buildings if we wanted to use the bathrooms was pretty entertaining.  Seeing how the people dealt with a "crisis" like that was very telling...people were griping a little, but in a funny and non-whiny way.  It was refreshing, really.  I'm happy with my choice.  :-)

In any case, you didn't come here for that, you came for the pictures:


 I got the borders put on the front and the back of Ride a Cowboy (previously referred to as Alishia's Quilt).  I couldn't stop giggling the whole time I was putting the border on the back.  MOTU wouldn't look directly at the fabric (mostly because he was too busy rolling his eyes at me...)  Alishia is going to flip when she sees it.
 Once I got those done, I realized I have a small problem...currently I'm sitting on three finished tops with three corresponding backings ready to baste.  If only I had a) the space to lay them out properly and b) the batting to put in them.  I'm making a trip home today to get more batting and some shelves to alleviate some of the clutter in the kitchen/dining/laundry/sewing/computer/dresser room.  I basted Fencing Matilda this morning.  I think I'm going to stitch in the ditch along the blocks, then do some free motion in pink along the pink and white fences.
 Of course, my QE (Quality Engineer) couldn't pass up the chance to test this top for quality.
 Inspecting every little seam.
Then he retired to his office to type up a report.

In all seriousness, I had no idea he was there...I was chucking dryer sheets over my shoulder for like an hour, then he started purring out of nowhere and I realized I'd be just layering him with soft-scented goodness.  He'd be creepy if he were human, but he's not so he's cute.  :-)

Monday, March 29, 2010

Design (Surface) Monday

Once again, it's not so much a design "wall" as it is a design "anywhere I can get the fabrics to lay flat for a while until my cat sits on them".  As such, I'm kind of sparse on the pictures today, but here's a gem y'all should enjoy:

God bless the women at Joann's.  I almost bought more teal/brown stuff for the back of Alishia's quilt, then the lady at the cutting counter pointed me to this stuff.  I still can't look at it without giggling.  That's going to be the back of her quilt, which is now called "Ride a Cowboy" (soon to be the sister quilt of Jimmy's which will be called "Save a Horse").  Long story cut exceptionally short (I'll expand later, I gotta go to work soon), the three of us have history with that song.  Nothing dirty, just a really funny incident at a night club a while back.  It's also a fun song.

In any case, I gotta jet.  First day at the new company...already it's a completely different vibe.  I hope this was the right choice...I'm pretty sure it was, but I'm still nervous.  Send happy thoughts my way!


Deep Breath...

Wow, what a weekend.  It just flew by, as the ones between important dates are wont to do I suppose.  I started and finished a quilt (a QFK, don't be so impressed), we found the puppy we're adopting (a 2 month old pit girl...not the same one as before, but better lol), the room is getting more finished (no thanks to me), and I bought grownup clothes (ie, they don't have hoods attached).  What a weekend.

First up, the cute pics:

This is Blueberry.  We came pretty close to adopting her, but she was jumpy and wasn't allowed out on walks today, so we couldn't really meet her.


This is the pile of cuteness.  That middle one looking at the camera, that's Daisy (soon to be Zucchini), who we absolutely fell in love with and will be taking home the Tuesday after Easter.  She's 2 months old, but she's already pretty big.  She's smart and walks well on a leash (ok, not really...but she's 2 months old, it's still cute.  :-)) We giggled and squealed like little girls all the way home.  MOTU too.  :-) 

 That's us!  We adopted her!!
 This was the pile o' cuteness before we took Daisy Zucchini out for a walk.  I think the one looking at us here is Dandelion.
 MOTU NEVER smiles this big for pictures.  She never sat still long enough for my poor phone camera to get a good shot, but you get the point.  This was as we were heading out for her walk.
 And now, for the less cute but still fun pictures:

First up, the back of the QFK I started/finished this weekend.  I'm calling it "The Places You'll Go" since it has a whole bunch of different modes of transportation on it.
 The best of the quilting...I did all this by machine!  I freemotioned!  Successfully!  The back looks good too!  I'm so proud of myself!
 Here's the whole thing.  Cute, huh?  The red/yellow blocks made me think of McD's.
 And the label, of course.


This week starts a new life, a new job, a new routine.  I'm going to start getting my big ol' butt to the gym every morning before work.  Soon enough, I'll be taking Kini out for morning walks, so it'll be good practice for then.  I'm hoping to be able to train her to run with me...any tips?

I'm going to put some more time in on our quilt, this time being more careful to measure the squares first.  Maybe that'll help.  The awful block I'm going to turn into a throw pillow.

I need to quilt Fencing Matilda and Paddington as well.  They're sitting on my ironing board (which is directly over the cutting board) waiting to get finished.  I also need to put the borders on Alishia's quilt.  Actually, that's going to be on my design wall tomorrow...the backing for it anyways.  It makes me giggle but I won't tell why until tomorrow.

Sleep tight everyone!


Friday, March 26, 2010

Final Friday

I sort of thought about doing a Friday Fave Five today, but I'm sort of not in the mood.  I'm not really in a bad mood per se, but today is sort of a sad day anyways.

Today was my last day at The MathWorks.  Here are the little things I'm going to miss:


It's just so irreverently nerdy there...them's my people though.

It sort of feels the same as it did when I was a kid, leaving school on the last day knowing I wouldn't be back.  Everyone else's lives go on the same as before and mine does too, but our paths no longer intertwine.  Monday will bring fresh nerves when I walk in to a  new job where everyone knows each other and I'm the new kid in a new social hierarchy.  I know they're nice, and I know I like them...but right now I'm just wallowing in the unknown.

I'm gonna go do a QFK.  Those are straightforward.




Thursday, March 25, 2010

New Look!

Because I'm fidgety like that, I decided to play around with the template, courtesy of Blogger Dashboard Draft.  So good!  Take a look if you're on Reader.  I replaced the header image with a collage of all my finishes...hopefully that'll be expanding as I continue, well, completing.


Quick Horn Toot, Then Back to Reality

That's my quilt!!  That teeny tiny little thing is completely SWAMPED by it, but that's the quilt I made for him!  It says his name on it!  That's Levi!  She really did bring it with her to the hospital!  I'm so flattered!!

And then there was this:

Yikes.  It looks like something a kinderg√§rtner would laugh at.  Miserable.  That's my first attempt at an Ohio Star, and my first time using a real Jelly Roll.  This is Martinique from Moda.  Might be 3 sisters, I can't remember.  This is supposed to be for the new room...it's kind of a miserable train wreck though.

It looked so pretty on the floor...what the heck happened???  I guess if it looks good on the floor, something's amiss.  I need to work my measurements backwards from the jelly roll.  That's probably what I'll be doing tomorrow since it's my last day at TMW and I have literally nothing to do except turn my fob in.




Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Southwestern Strings

As previously mentioned, I finally got all the blocks for Alishia's string quilt done.  Gotta say...strings might not be my favorite kind of quilt.  Man they take a long time.

I tried a few layouts and sent her pictures, and in the end she picked small diamonds.  Here were the options:
The Big X.
The Big Diamond.
The Little Diamonds.

Maybe I'll call this Alishia's Stringy Diamonds.  Or maybe something less stupid.  In any case, that's what I'm working on tonight.

I also got 3 more QFK kits in the mail.  Pictures to come.


**** Quick Update ****

Here's the top as of the end of the night.  The middle is all sewn together, but the borders aren't on yet. I am LOVING how the border fabric ties everything in so nicely.  Click for a bigger image...it's teal flowers on a brown background.  I couldn't have designed a better fabric!


Monday, March 22, 2010

6,000 Words, or, Design Countertop Monday

First and foremost, I must brag about my MOTU, who brought me flowers (and tomato paste) from the grocery store yesterday.  You would not believe the fear and hatred he has for grocery stores, so this was (is) a big deal.  Aren't they purdy?  :-D
OK down to business. I got a couple of plastic containers this weekend in hopes of organizing my scraps a little better.  Before, everything was in the big clear/red thing (bottom) and that shoebox (top left).  Now, crumbs are in that shoebox and the smaller clear container (I'm still sorting, but the smaller ones are in the plastic one and the bigger crumbs that aren't quite scraps are in the shoebox).  The bigger plastic box now houses leftover blocks.  In order to qualify for entry into that box, there must be at least one other piece of fabric stitched to you.  You and your fabricky partner can be any shape or size, but you must be inseparable without a seam ripper. Yup, I personify everything.  I'm gonna lose it completely once MOTU leaves.
The design countertop!  All the blocks for Alishia's string quilt are done.  Now I just need some real space to lay them out in a design I like...anyone wanna loan me some floor/wall space?  Anyone?  Well, I've been doodling anyways, so hopefully I'll remember to take a picture of the design I came up with, tomorrow.
Here's the rest of the design space. There's Fencing Matilda, Mom Read Us Paddington (for lack of a better name), and Alishia's string quilt in pieces.  Yes, that's olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and a variety of other cooking liquids behind the design counter.  That's the space that I cut both fabric and cooking stuff on.  Not at the same time, of course.  But you get the point.  This is getting pretty sad.


And finally, last but CERTAINLY not least, it was the best mail day ever!!!



Not only did I get the fabrics I bought for MOTU's and my new bed quilt in the mail, but I got the sweetest thank you cards from Kris (the mom) and Abbey (whose name I spelled wrong apparently lol).  Apparently Abbey sleeps with my quilt every night and just loves it!  :-)  Warm fuzzies all around!  

So that's the news from Lake Woebegone.  Tonight is Chuck night, and I'm kinda beat from the gym so there probably won't be any sewing going on.  I need to get started on the Wrapped in Hope quilt and get cracking on Mai's quilt too.  Next week will be so nice...I'll get home 20 minutes after I leave work and WON'T be exhausted!  Huzzah!

Fencing Matilda

Taadaa!

I went to Joann's to find backing material and found some cute stuff but a) haven't quite decided which I like better (pink with turtles or pink & green flowers on a white background, both flannel) and b) forgot to take pictures to poll the audience.

I'm such a fan of the rail fence pattern...it was so quick and easy to do, and it's so pretty when it's done.

I also left my camera at home, so that's all the pictures I have for now.  More later.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

incognito mosquito

so MOTU turned off the breaker in the new room to avoid shock. it also threw us back to the stone age, as we won't have internet until sometime tomorrow. thank god for 3g phones.

Friday Night Sew In - March Edition

Last night wasn't quite as productive as February, but it was a good night.  I only got in about 3 hours of sewing, but I managed to make a second bag (this one we're calling a purse because I have no need for diapers, thankyouverymuch) and got about a quarter of Fencing Matilda done.

Here's the setup.  Sorry for the odd angle...it was hard to get the whole mess in.  What's that?  Why yes, that is a copy of Titanic ready to be played on my computer while I sew.  No, I haven't seen it in years.  No, it did not escape MOTU's notice or ridicule.  No, MOTU and I do not watch chick flicks together for that exact reason ("have they crashed yet? have they had sex in someone's car yet? she's wearing a dress, that means sexy time is soon, right?").  The one good thing about him leaving for 14 months is that I'll get to watch SO many chick flicks when he's gone.  It's a guilty pleasure of mine, don't judge.


Here are the two bags, finished and hanging for artistry.  I haven't decided which one is "better" so I can send it to Faith yet.


Like I said, 1/4th done with Fencing Matilda.  I'm hoping it doesn't look too much like an Italian flag lol.  I'm not sure what I'm going to do for quilting.  I'm definitely going to stitch between blocks, but I'm thinking of doing something pretty along the fences as well.  I'm nervous though because that means machine freemotion, which I'm not terribly good at yet.  We'll see, maybe I'll turn out to be a natural (last time I did it, I had my machine set up wrong).

I ended up with about 2 1/2 inches leftover on each strip of strips, so I played around with doing some disappearing 9-square stuff.

Here they are all in a real block.  I think it looks kinda nifty.

That got me to thinking.  I've been playing around a lot with little mini blocks from the scraps of real stuff I'm doing.  I think I'm going to start a collection of them and make a misfit blocks quilt when I have enough.  I have a few leftover 4-square blocks from the QFK quilts, a couple of 16-square blocks from Paddington, and some misc other attempts at creativity as well.  Maybe it'll turn out cool, maybe it'll be a trainwreck, who knows.

And since it's Saturday, and a sunny one at that, I've gotten a lot done today.  Here's my little indoor garden:

That's since become my window garden:
It's just not up in a window yet.  They all still look a little sad since they haven't realized where the sun's coming from yet, but they'll perk up.  Some of them are starting to look like the real thing...there are some textured sage leaves and some prickly cilantro and parsley leaves...I can't wait for them to really get going!

Of course, Grisgris knew it was nice out as well and was just BEGGING to get outside.
We might have tormented him just a little bit.  This is the kitchen window.  Eventually, he got out.

Later on, he was back inside and Shelby went outside.  I let him out again thinking that they could avoid each other just fine in that big ol' yard.  Next thing I know, I go outside to start my garden and what is that little brat doing??  He's STALKING SHELBY!  She has no idea and he's just creeping up on her!  I picked him up and he hissed at me!  I threw him (yes, he was airborne) back into the house and closed the door and Shelby ran under the neighbors' porch.  What a punk.

Now he's just chilling out on the plaid couch quilt we all love.

In addition to the garden, I also washed 3 cars, including Helen:

Phew!  All that, and we even slept in pretty late this morning, too!  What a day!