Thursday, September 16, 2010

Quilt Therapy

Yesterday was a meltdown kinda day.  You know how it is.  Fortunately, I wasn't alone and what perked me up was partly reading a description of someone else's meltdown and partly making another quilt top.
I finally got around to using the charm pack of Verna I won months ago from Heidi for a Friday Night Sew-In.  It's pretty.  Not sure what I'd do with actual yardage, but it's pretty as a set.  This, I think, is going to be a lap quilt for someone for Christmas.  It's just the top for now, but I have big plans for doing some actual quilting along the border (as opposed to my usual stitching in the ditch approach, which is classic and simple but not terribly imaginative).

I also pulled out some fabrics from my stash last night for something I'm going to call "Slime & Snails & Puppydog Tails".  It's definitely going to be a boy's quilt.  Not sure how big or what design exactly, but it'll be an Etsy quilt when it's done.  I'm excited to start making stuff to sell once this wedding dust starts settling. I've added a few new things to the shop, but they're all custom work, nothing I could ship out tomorrow.  Well, not unless I stayed up all night to get it done.

I still need to get the programs done, but the direction signs, at least, are done.  3 lefts and a right. I also need to get more core board to make a display to encourage people to sign the guest scrapbook and use pictures from the photo booth.  I probably need to collect supplies to let people decorate it and a box to let people put their contributions in if they don't feel like putting them in the book themselves. 

Anyway, that's the news from Lake Woebegone. 

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Down to Just Fingers

I was wondering when the panic would set in...there it is. Everyone keeps telling me to keep breathing and not to freak out if things go wrong, etc etc.  While I appreciate the advice and well-meaning behind the words, I feel like turning around and reminding them of how THEY (if they're married women) felt a week and a half before their wedding, and if they were "calm" and open to the idea that the whole day might be a train wreck.  While I am confident that my day will go just fine and that I'll roll with whatever happens, I'm also confident that that relaxed attitude will be well-earned because I've sweated out all the details and freaked out about every little thing for the past 5 months.  So yes, I get that it's going to be a magical day and that anything that goes wrong will be laughed about later, but just let me bask in the stress and the hard work that's going into it, ok?  If I weren't worried about things, it would mean that I don't care about them. Stressing, at this point, is normal and valid and while I'm doing my best to keep it to a minimum, I don't feel at all bad about letting it get the better of me on occasion.

Anyway, off my soapbox.

I can count on just fingers now how many days left until I'm a Mrs.   That's awesome.  MOTU and I have been keeping each other going, alternating stressor and stressee, and it's just reminded me over and over how glad I am that I get to marry him.  When times get hard, we're there for each other the way we need to be, and that's critical.  He's a good man and I'm a lucky girl.

Here's our song:

I'm mostly done with stuff. I need to make 2 more directions signs and I need to make a trip to the Halloween store to get funny hats, but that's about it. All the reception decorations are done and in boxes, ready to be loaded in the car.  All the ceremony decorations are the same.  The programs still need a little work, but they're getting there and if I had to ditch the effort they'd still be ok.  All the wedding party gifts and florals are in boxes, ready to go.  I haven't at all started thank you notes yet, so if you've sent us something and haven't heard, please be patient.  I've been trying to make sure to let folks know we at least got stuff and are grateful though, even if the handwriting isn't on the card yet.

In other news, we're officially NOT a Marine family!  It's be TOUGH for MOTU the past couple weeks because the decision wasn't ours to make, but in the end...I can't hide the fact that I'm relieved and thrilled to have him with me for the next year instead of far far away! For the sake of his privacy, I won't go into details, but suffice it to say God answers prayers, even silly little ones.  :-)

And finally, obligatory pet pics: 
Kini wanted very much to be in on the conference call I had this morning.

She's just so very excited about customer process management software. Wouldn't you be?

Anyway, that's the news.  Might be sparse posting for a while, with all the chaos coming up and such. 

Monday, September 13, 2010

Design Delivery Monday

The problem with having design wall Monday is that invariably I've actually completed a lot over the weekend, and by Monday morning I have nothing on the wall. I'll have more up later tonight and probably even more than that by Wednesday, but for now this is sort of a view into the past. 

First up, bibs!

 The complete set, post first washing.
 Straight lines
 Baby Raptor

Next up,  a friend asked me to make a quilt based on a book she reads to her soon-to-be three-year-old. I had a lot of fun shopping for the fabrics and putting this one together.
 The squares are 6 inches finished.
 Design wall (and bed)!
 Finished top!
 Finished quilt and book from whence it came!  After a few hundred washes, it'll look more like the one in the book lol.   (I have an email out to the author requesting permission to use this image...if she doesn't want me using it, I'll remove it immediately.)
For Joseph!

Friday, September 10, 2010

I swear, this isn't unexpected

In the past few months, it seems the only one who hasn't been completely shocked by my ability/tendency to sew/craft/make stuff is my mom.  Maybe she had the genetic heads up and should've been shocked too, but I really don't understand what all the fuss is about.  This isn't really "new" per se, it's just a different symptom for an underlying diagnosis: I am an engineer to the core.

Let me explain.

When I make something, only about 10% of it is me saying "ooh, that's pretty!" The other 90% is doing the math (guess what, I have a scientific calculator in my sewing room.  It's not buried under other stuff either), putting puzzle pieces together, and figuring out how to "do it better".  Quilting, making,'s just a puzzle to me.  It's taking something I see already made, then making it myself.  The first time is always a little rough, but then usually I have a good idea of how to make it (or at least the process) a little smoother, better, etc next time. 

The I go to when I'm creating is the same space I used to go to when I worked with (not for) Matlab.  I'd spend hours staring at the same stuff on the same whiteboard, erasing and marking, tweaking until it was perfect, then coding coding coding.  It's the same now...I stare with what probably looks like a vacant look at fabrics, but really my wheels are turning and it's a process similar to what Stephen King described in Bag of Bones (something about movers in the attic...I can't remember exactly).  Generally, both processes involve(d) having multiple sources of white noise (MOTU, I'm sure, gets sick of me leaving radios and TVs on all over the house, but that's how I roll) to keep me focused.  It's a strange system, but even now, the thought of that atmosphere is soothing.

Anyway, that's my story.  It shouldn't shock anyone out there that quilting, for me, is textile mathematics. 

A couple quick pictures:
 Zoey, probably fixated on my necklace (again).  Cutest set of claws west of the Mississippi.  So hoping Alishia will decide she'd make a great "wedding gift" for us lol.  Definitely getting a kitten next time I get a cat.
 Teaser pic of my first attempt at free motion embroidering.  Yes, Mom, that's my handwriting when I try.  :-)  I still use cursive sometimes.
 Pew decorations are done.  Pretty lame, but they serve the purpose - little punch of color down the aisle.  (Incidentally, can anyone else not believe that's TWO WEEKS from tomorrow???)
My rehearsal bouquet, made from shower ribbons.  Friendly reminder of how very loved I am.  :-)  Life is good.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

It's Our Month!

Ho man, suddenly I can count the days by subtracting today's date from 25.  Anyone got a paper bag?  Eep. 

Anyway, here are few pics of what I've been doing for the past few days:

I started the guest/scrap book:
 First page
 Back of first page. I'm not sure what I'm going to do with the guest book exactly...the thing is, we're having a photo booth and I have a lot of scrapbooking paper that I'm hoping to use for backgrounds.  I have little slips of paper with leafy cutouts that people will be able to sign, then glue in next to their pictures.  So maybe I'll put the book there for inspiration, then leave a stack of the scrapbook paper out for people to play around with and then put the pages in later?  Hm.
 I started on the favors/escort cards - they're little glass picture frame coasters.  The picture size is the same size that the photo booth we're having will put out. 
 These aren't the napkins...yet.  They're the center linens (I still don't know what to call them exactly) that go under the bottles.  That's one of the napkin rings though, which I got from Stylishstems.  I'll have 120 or so of them after the wedding that I'll likely be reselling (with Toni's permission, of course) so if you want some, let me know.
 Here's the centerpiece (unhemmed) for the head table.  I added a white border to make it a touch more "bridal", but then it blended in with the table, so I'll have the brown stuff underneath to offset it.
 This is what I'm hoping the cake looks like.  We'll see.
Shelby never sleeps on the porch, but she was camped out there this morning when Kini needed to pee.  It was quite comical because Kini really had to go, but didn't know what to do about Shelby (who's not been particularly friendly to her in the past).  Eventually she just ran over her and Shelby just laid there.

I think that's about it.  Tonight I'm hoping to get the rest of the center linens done (8 left - the binding strips are all pressed, I just need to cut the squares and pin like the dickens).  If I get that done and have time left (after working out, packing for UT (hellloooo girls' weekend!!!), cooking and eating dinner, and aiming for a pre-midnight bedtime, which I haven't accomplished all week), I'll start working on....(queue Wheel of Fortune style To Do list)...programs.  I need to emboss the leaves on them.  On about 85 of them.  6 leaves a piece, 3's tedious but it really makes them special so it's worth it to me.  I could also fix the boutonniere I broke (what, I wanted to make sure they're Ford tough...they're not.  Don't sword-fight with them.), make the pew decorations, make the directions signs, keep working on the escort cards (seriously, they're not that's just each coaster is part of a set of two, which is in a little plastic box, with a bow around it, inside a cellophane wrapper, inside a bigger cellophane wrapper with 5 of its 4 layers of packaging removal later, I can finally remove the "For You" card and put in a name card).  Or just sleep.  That'd be good too. 

Anyway, now you know my to do list (oh, did I mention I also need to cut, sew, and bind 3 more bibs for MOTU's coworker by next weekish as well?  "Need to" is maybe too strong for that, but "want to very badly, if for no reason other than to stop doing wedding crap non stop" fits.)

On that note, back to work.  w00t.