Saturday, August 29, 2009

My First Quilt

This is it... my very first quilt, made in the winter of 2006. My MIL and I took a beginners quilting class at Joann's and this baby quilt (or wall hanging, I suppose) was the quilt we each created over 8 weeks or so. I believe its called "Winning Hand" referring to the blocks that look like stacked cards. I had not an inkling of how to make a quilt until I took this class. I highly recommend taking a beginners class if you're just itching to know where to start!
We followed the directions in this book by "Quilt in a Day" so if you can't find a class in your area, you can probably find publications like this to walk you through the process. And in case you're wondering, YES, its much more fun to learn with a friend! Looking back almost 4 years, I'm not as fond of this fabric as I was, but I still consider it special since it was the first.

I'm so glad to have this solid basic knowledge so I can built on my skills and create modern, colorful quilts that I know will be loved for ages to come. I haven't really followed an exact pattern, per se, since this first quilt! Although I'll soon be cutting in to my Darcey fabric to make my very own (to keep!) Old Red Barn quilt like this one ... which does actually follow a loose pattern. It will have a permanent home in my living room, so Hazel and I can cuddle up on those freezing winter nights. So whats on your list of quilts to make?

Saturday, August 22, 2009

A Hazelnut Exposé

About three years ago I brought home a little orange bundle of fur from a far far away land called Indiana. I was told the puppy had a Poodle mom, and Lhasa Apso dad. After a few months we noticed this little girl was... goofy, in a good way!

I caught Hazel the other evening doing her usual thing waiting for Justin to come home. She perches on the front chair looking out the window, and of course trying to spot the neighborhood dogs on their nightly walks.

My only conclusion is that Hazel has a feline somewhere in her lineage. I've never been a cat person, and Hazel is about as close as I think I'll ever get. You should see her pounce on her toys when she's getting ready to play. She stalks it for about 20 seconds by staring it down, she pulls back, then WHAM! she springs onto her toy. Its a tiger move if I've ever seen one.

By the end of most evenings, Hazel is passed out on the couch, either curled up next to one of us, or near a pillow. Maybe she's more human than anything else?

So now you know. Our dog is really a cat, with human tendencies. Should we be ashamed or proud? I have no idea. But we love her, and we plan on cloning her so we always have a Hazel close by, even when we're old and grey. Mainly because she's just so darn cute and loves a good quilt to cuddle up with, night or day.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

*Breaking News*

Amy Butler's new line of Rugs just released August 2009! Its her fabric... transformed into plush Area Rugs! I'll be saving my pennies for one of these gems - thats for sure! Check out her drool-worthy rugs here.
(I had no idea - did you!?!?!?)

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Best Idea goes to....

She suggested I use the gold color for trim on the long sides... and I think its perfect. I finished it last night while watching the 3rd to last "So you think you can dance" (yes, I know Janine won!) and then oddities on TLC, then Hells Kitchen... then I started to watch More to Love but lost interest because the game they were playing was stupid. Hmmm, where was I. Oh yes, so this is finished, and now listed in my Etsy shop. Its a generous sized baby or toddler blanket, about 41"x42". If it were bigger, I'd totally keep it to wrap up in. I guess I'll just have to make another one... BIGGER this time!

And if you need a good laugh, read this funny FreeCycle story as told by Joy of Joy's Hope.
I was at work and laughed out loud while reading it - everyone who works in insurance needs a good laugh every now and then!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Laptop Under Cover

I was admiring the laptop cover created by Elizabeth of Oh, Fransson! for the Sew, Mamma, Sew! blog... and one day husband asked me when I was going to make a cover for our *new to us* Mac Book. Well, golly! I know JUST the tutorial to use! This tutorial was just the ticket, and very clear and easy to follow. I stopped by my favorite little fabric shop, chose this gender neutral home dec weight fabric called "Chippendale" from the For Your Home line by Vicki Payne. Nothing a guy wouldn't be perfectly content to carry, right?

Its already travelled with us to Lake Norris in Tennessee, and did a lovely job protecting Mac. How long will it stay clean? Odds are, not much longer, but thats ok - that means its getting used! Now go on! Make one for your laptop already!

**Tomorrow: A Hazelnut Expose'

Monday, August 17, 2009

A Smidgen of Ripples

Here's the almost finished Baby Ripple Afghan for a fun little Crochet-A-Long on
I LOVE how it turned out, but I need to figure out what color trim to use on both straight sides of the blanket. I did a row of the orangey-red color up one side, but hated it and promptly nixed it. I think good ol' white might be the answer.... any ideas?

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Zippity Doo-dah!

I snatched this fun Alexander Henry home dec fabric called "Ringo" (thanks April!) from Sew to Speak a while back and decided to have another go with zippers. I happened to have a coordinating zipper with the same shade of goldish-yellow, so here it is! Gloria has already claimed it for herself which just happens to match the interior of an adorable purse said bf also purchased from Sew to Speak, after some negotiations with the shop owner (I'm told.)
I have just enough Ringo left to make one more bag or pouch of some sort... maybe to add to my Christmas Gift Stash? Am I insane to be thinking about Christmas already? Probably.

And I'm quite excited to go CAMPING this weekend! We're going with Justin's parents and who knows else. We haven't broken out the tent and gear in over a year, so I'm looking forward to it! We'll be camping at Alum Creek which means boating all day Friday and Saturday too! Woot!
I happen to have Friday off from work (Employee Appreciation Day) so this is a great week. Gotta take advantage of summer while its here! What do you plan on doing with the rest of your summer?

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Five Word Wednesday

YUMMY Kona Cotton Color Card

(It's about 3 feet long *Drool*
You can find them at Pink Chalk Fabrics.
Used for matching any fabric to the exact Kona solid you're looking for)

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Finished a Quilt Whilst on Vacation

And I must say I love it! These are 4" squares from Amy Butler's "Daisy Chain" collection, with 3" white Kona sashing. Measures 35" x 35" ... and its listed in my Etsy shop.
Front:**Look closely and you can see the Lake down below the deck where these photos were taken**

Pieced Back (I threw in some Wildwood Tree fabric and some greenMonaco fabric):

All over stippling design which I think is my favorite part:

Pieced binding:

We had a great vacation at Lake Norris, Tennessee, and here's a funny little thing that happened while trying to pull up the anchor: We caught a tire!
I'm all rested up and ready to get started on some more projects! I have three bags to sew, a commissioned baby boy quilt, and two lap sized quilts I want to get started. ONE of them for my livingroom, even. I'm quite excited!
Tomorrow I'll try to post pics of the new Laptop Sleeve I made from Sew, Mama, Sew!
which now keeps our Macbook nice and cozy~

I feel like I've missed quite a bit over the last week, what have you all been up to? Finished any projects? Have a WIP? Do share...