Thursday, March 29, 2012

Finish Along - Q1 Results!

At the beginning of the year I stumbled across the 2012 Finish-A-Long hosted over at Quilter in the Gap. Like every other quilter, I'm developing quite the mountain of WIPs, so anything that would help motivate me to get them finished is definitely appreciated!

I posted my goals for the quarter here, listing SIX projects that I thought I could complete. Only four "counted" because two weren't actual WIPs but just to-dos - which is fine, because they didn't get done anyway. Of the four that were eligible, I managed to finish three of them! Woohoo!

Of course, I've only blogged about two of them, because I am the worst blogger on the planet (okay, not really)... so I've only got two to link up right now, until I go home and photo the third one. Whoops.



Saturday, March 24, 2012

Non-sewing WIP - Project House

The last time I posted anything about our house project was after we bought the shed on Veteran's Day last November. I promise we've been making progress since then, and I even have photographic evidence of such! ;)

We've been a bit scatter-brained about it - our back bathroom is partially painted, but it also needs more drywall work. Our guest bedroom has had the carpet torn out (good riddance!) and had the window replaced, and today Jeff spent the day smoothing out the awful texture. Over the last month, our electrician-contractor-fellow has been out a few times to fix some light switches and to install these lovelies:

A new mirror, new light over the mirror, and new bathroom sink / sink cabinet! Hooray! The old crap was SO ugly, and the sink was covered in stains from all the paint projects, they definitely needed to go.

We also managed to pick a color for the bathroom - a mint green color, chosen only because the gallon of paint was $3 on the clearance rack at Lowe's, haha! For the back bathroom, we picked a light blue color that for some reason looks green, so I'm not-so-secretly hoping that this mint green will look blue when it gets on the wall! We're hoping to have the shower tiled (with white tiles) sometime in April, and the floor as well (though we haven't picked a color for that yet - we'll probably wait to see how the paint looks once it's on the wall).

I also have plants! They look so great. The sunflower in the back is mostly dead now, though, unfortunately. The thing on the left was a clearance plant from Lowe's; the jade plant in the middle was a gift from Jeff's grandmother (so I *definitely* can't let it die! - it's gotten a ton bigger than when she gave it to me, though) and the plant on the right was some other random thing from Lowe's. It's added a bunch of new leaf-things since I got it, so I must be doing something right. I love succulents!

Any home improvement projects going on at your place? Or pretty flowers? I'll try to post some more flowers in the next few days, as I'm hoping to work in the garden a bunch this weekend if the weather holds out!

Friday, March 23, 2012

Congratulations are in order!

Well that latest blog hop definitely set a record here for my little corner of the interwebs. 192 comments means 192 entries on my Pezzy Prints giveaway! Probably twice as many as I've received ever. The consensus really seemed to be that these charms would be great for placemats and table runners and pillows, or also the children's quilt that I tried to make that just didn't work out for my poor little brain.

I'm also a handful of folks over 100 followers now, so I'm really hopeful that I can continue being entertaining.

Now, what you all want to know - who won!

#38 was Cindy, who blogs at Quilt Doodle Designs! I will be e-mailing Cindy shortly and will choose a back-up winner if I don't hear from her by Monday. Cindy said she'd make a table runner and placemats, and hopefully she'll share them on her blog if she does!

Thank you again to everyone who has entered. Have a fantastic weekend!

Update on Paper Piecing

English paper piecing, which I have started recently as something to do while wasting away in front of watching television, has been pretty darn successful so far! I've decided that the first thing I'm going to turn my hexies into is a pretty cover for my sewing machine (I currently use the hard shell case it came in).

I've started piecing them together, mostly hoping that I've done it right because I lost interest in reading / following the directions (which really ends up being the problem with most of my sewing projects-gone-awry).

First they turned into this clump. As usual, Molly MUST be involved with every project I take on. (Side note, I'm currently reading Jeanne Walls's Half-Broke Horses and it is just as good as The Glass Castle was!)

And then they turned into this! I've added a bunch more since I took this photo, so imagine it a little bigger, but I'm really enjoying it! I love having something simple to work on while sitting around with hubs, and I look forward to making myself a cute little pouch so that I can take them with me! Hooray!

Have you tried English Paper Piecing? What did you make with yours? It seems like they'd also make good coasters... Hmm....

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

WIP - A bunch of new projects

If you haven't yet entered my Pezzy Prints giveaway, check it out here
Winner will be chosen on 3/23. 

I finished up Sara's Star quilt, so what was the next logical step? Starting a few more projects, of course. At the rate I start projects, I'm going to have 4,302 WIPs by the end of the year but only 12 finishes. Oops.

Anyway, at some point a few weeks ago I put together a bundle of girly prints - flowery things that are all manner of pinks, and some stripes, and that sort of thing - and decided to cut squares from them. It then came to me to make sort-of-4-patch blocks out of them. This is what I've got so far:

There are definitely way more than enough to make two (if not three!) children's sized quilts out of, as I'm planning on putting white sashing between the blocks. I think these would all end up for sale.

I then decided it would be a good idea to do the same thing with my two charm packs of Half Moon Modern and two packs of white Bella Solids:

(Pardon my terrible photography skills! I tend to take photos before work, with the intention of blogging at lunch time...and then I don't. Aww.). Anyway, I think I'm going to pick one of the solid colors (possibly the teal?) from the line to use for sashing, and use all the blocks in the same quilt. Not sure where this one will end up, either.

Then I've started ANOTHER project, out of slightly-smaller-than-charm-square sized squares that I got from a couple of swaps I participated in. It was my first swap, and as much as I appreciate the bargains I can find at Joann for fabrics for myself, I also very much understand why swap mammas say NO to those for their swaps. Anyway, I'm making 16-patches out of them:

 14 out of the 22 blocks have turned out properly, like this (they're still in two sets of eight squares each)
While the other eight have turned out like this! I have no idea where or how they went wrong; I just know I have a bunch of seam ripping to do! Boo! Since my parents are now coming for Christmas, I think these blocks, combined with a cream-colored sashing (tentatively, anyway) will end up being their Christmas present. I think I can handle that sort of schedule!


In other news - WOW. I joined up with the St. Patty's day giveaway blog hop and have been amazed at the results. 174 comments SO FAR, *and* I now have 100 followers! Whoa! Thank you, all of you, for all the comments. I've defintely read every one, even though I've been overwhelmed and haven't replied to them all. I'll definitely do another giveaway sometime soon for hitting that milestone, probably at the end of April, for my birthday.


Lastly, if you're as addicted to charm swaps as I've become, there's another one going on over at Adventures in obsessive crafting. Deanna's looking for folks interested in swapping rainbow charms, and she (and I!) would love if it you joined up!

Monday, March 19, 2012

Finish - Sara's Wedding Quilt

If you haven't entered my giveaway, please click here - win some Pezzy charms for yourself (ends 3/23). 

Alrightyroo, I finished another quilt! Hooray!? Isn't it a great feeling?

It's a big giant star, with some red borders added on either end to make it a bit less square. Sara, its recipient, got married at the beginning of February and said that she and her hubs like dark colors. I'm terrible with surprises, so she's already seen it on Facebook and likes it. Yay!

 I quilted it on diagonal lines and really like the way it turned out. I look forward to doing pretty much the exact same thing with the other quilt top that came out of the project, except maybe with yellow instead of red. Any thoughts?
 Clearly I'm not the best quilt model...
As my arms get tired quickly. Thanks to hubby, though, for being my photographer!

Friday, March 16, 2012

Time to get lucky! (har har)

Blog Hop Party with Give-Aways

The giveaway is now closed. Thank you to all who entered!

Who doesn't love giveaways? I know this girl loves 'em. I've decided to link up with the Quilter's Blog Hop Party to give some stuff away - yay! In honor of my 200th post happening just the other day, and it being St. Patty's Day and all, when everyone and their uncle says they're Irish and drinks too much, well, here's a giveaway for you:

Not one, but TWO charm packs of Pezzy Print will go to ONE lucky winner! One word of warning - I *did* open them, as I had a project in mind but in the end it didn't pan out. They're all there, they're all in one piece, they're just not wrapped up fancy like a proper, fresh-from-the-cutting board (?) charm pack.

To enter to win, leave a comment below. Could be anything - your plans for the charms, how you plan to celebrate St. Patrick's Day, something about your heritage...whatever you feel like typing. :) Following is appreciated, but not required. Sorry, no international winners.

Check this here link on Saturday, the 17th, for a list of all the hoppers so that you can enter to win (and hopefully get lucky!) as many times as possible. Wink wink, nudge nudge.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

English Paper What?

Crafting hobbies don't live alone, do they? People aren't "just" quilters, embroiderers, knitters, or whatever. Once you start quilting, well, it's only a matter of time before you do one of those nifty quilts that include bits of embroidery, which gets you to just embroidering things to have something to do in front of the tv, and so forth, right?

I guess my new hobby is sort of quilting, but it feels different so I'm going to say it is. I've recently taken up English paper piecing - fed up with seeing all the OTHER bloggirls make adorable hexagons, I wanted to make some for myself. I combined the beginning of this venture with my attempt to organize/sort scraps, which really has worked out pretty well.

I bought the die-cut papers that I'm using off eBay and they included a handy tutorial (including pictures!), but here's one that I found online that you may find useful: summerfete's the basics of english paper piecing.

I haven't gotten to the point where I'm sewing any together yet - right now, I just have this pile of scrap candy.

 Which includes favorites from projects past - the red from this finish, the purple stars from the quilt on our bed that I never properly posted a "finished!" post for, and the flowers...I think from these placemats? Yup, it's in there.
 There are also ones I just think are pretty - the leaf print from buntings I haven't finished yet; the pink flowers from another WIP; the turtle from a baby quilt I finished for a friend, and those cute birds that ended up just so - both from fat eighth bundles I got at Joann - the brown was in another set of placemats, the pink just left over. :)
Then my cat decided to get involved. Hopefully she doesn't think they're toys and scatter them everywhere by the time I get home from work!

Next on the project list - a pouch to keep my supplies in! All the OTHER girls have one, maaaaaa (Who knew I'd end up saying that about things like this!? Haha!)

Blog Hop Party with Give-Aways

In other news - this is my 201st post! Okay, not a big deal, but hitting 200 was, regardless of how sporadic my posting has been. Quilting Gallery is hosting a blog hop / giveaway party this weekend in celebration of Saint Patty's Day, so I figured I'd join up with that to give away something (haven't figured what yet!) in celebration! Check back for it later this week! :)

If you'd like to join in on the hopping, follow that link right up there - you do have to pre-register for the hop...which in a way is really nice, because you get a handy e-mail sent to you so you don't forget the rules and the dates and all that!

Have a great day, readers!

Friday, March 9, 2012

WIP - Crosshatches

So I LOVE the jelly roll race style of quilts - they're super quick and easy, and if you check out my finished projects page, well, you'll see that I've made a jillion of them.

This time, though, I've decided to do something different. I sewed the strips end-to-end, as per usual, and started the "race," so to speak, but stopped after the piece was eight strips wide. I then cut it into (rough) squares, so that they currently look like this:

Wrench helped me lay out bits this time!

 Here's a close-up of one of the blocks.

Because my math is STILL rubbish, having not improved at all from the "Oops I bought enough for two whole quilt tops" debacle, I ended up with eight bits of the one set of squares instead of nine.** Not sure what to do with them, now - maybe a square of another coordinating material in the middle? I really like the way you can make it look by rotating the blocks - the word "Crosshatch" came to mind. So that's what I'm calling them. I have two more color combinations:

Second set - yay, I have nine! :) 

Closeup - love the stripes and butterflies together.

I'm calling this one Raspberries and Cream. LOVE that deep pink color! I've also decided to finish this one up for a good friend's daughter.

See, while I've been gone, I've been at least getting SOMETHING done!

** Note - yes, I totally failed on math on the other quilt...but on these, I just didn't bother doing any at all. ;)

Thursday, March 8, 2012

WIP - Sara's Star

My friend Sara got married a few weeks ago, so of course I decided (after the wedding had already occurred, mind you!) that she and her new hubby needed a quilt.

Here's my progress thus far:

 Fabric choices - white, some Kona gray, green and blue, and tone-on-tone blue and gray prints.

 Molly likes helping me lay out the bits. It's a big star!

All pieced together.

Because I am rubbish at maths (as my British friends would say?), I ended up with enough fabric to make TWO roughly 80x80 quilt tops... so here's the heir and the spare, so to speak, both all put together.

I decided I didn't like it as a square, so I added a red border to two sides. (Don't these stars look neat on point, by the way? Maybe I'll have to figure out how to make one - the extra? - that way!)
 The quilt, all sandwiched and pinned...this is Wrench's favorite part. She LOVES snuggling up on unfinished quilts, much to the chagrin of my sewing machine! (I'm careful to use a lint roller first, if there's a ton of furries).

I've gotten about half of the quilting done on it so far. I've decided to keep it simple, with stitch-in-the-ditch and I'll add some extra here and there before I call it done. I think I want it to feel more like a comforter than something heavily quilted...also I'm lazy, so that works for that, too!

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Old Navy Sample Share - Tees and Tanks

Through the website Crowdtap, every so often I get the chance to try out free stuff from my favorite place to buy clothes - Old Navy! The best part about these opportunities, called Sample Shares, are that I get to take a friend along for free stuff, too! In the past, my friend Tamera and I have gotten to try out a free summer outfit and even these awesome winter coats. I've also gotten (but not blogged about) skinny jeans. Other shares have included fitness gear and dresses.

This time, though, the Sample Share was for Old Navy's new tees and tanks. I was super excited about this one because, well, pretty much my whole dresser is full of Old Navy basics like these. The coupons were good for two tops (any combo of tees and tanks) with the eligible product numbers listed on the coupons and the letter that came with them.

Those little product numbers were awfully tricky. Yes, they were on the price tags on every item, but they were awfully small (I circled it in red using MS Paint so that you could see it!). After hunting around the store for a while, we were able to locate most - but not all! - of the eligible shirts.

The ones that were the most appealing to us were the Soft Vintage tees, which come in both crew neck and v-neck styles. We really liked the impressive array of colors and, true to their name, these tees are really soft!

Unfortunately, the tees are also really thin. It quickly became clear to both of us that Old Navy's goal is to get everyone who comes in to buy a "top" part of an outfit to actually buy two shirts to fulfill the same need.

Without even trying to get a photo of how thin the shirts were, you can tell from Tamera holding up this tee that they're pretty thin - definitely not the sort of thing that you'd be comfortable wearing to the office *without* another layer underneath! (Look how well it matched the little yellow bubbles on her skirt, though, without even trying! Too cute!). She went with the crew neck vintage tee in a very pretty shade of blue, and I got a dark purple one.

The other top we both ended up getting was the Jersey-Stretch Tank. Made out of a thicker sort of material than Old Navy tanks usually are, these are clearly the shirts that Old Navy intends for us to wear under their new, super-thin tees. They're also very soft, but the thing I liked most about mine is the length!

The purple long sleeve I'm wearing in this picture isn't short on me or anything - it comes down to my hips, easily - but the tank is much longer, which makes it much more appealing for layering than most of the other Old Navy tanks that I've purchased in the past. The cute teal color that I got doesn't seem to be available on their website anymore, but your local store may carry it. ;)

Of course, nothing free ever comes without a catch, right? Old Navy hadn't gotten the coupons correctly entered into their system by the time T and I went for our tees - when the cashiers scanned the coupons, they came up as being for free dresses, even though the tees we were getting were definitely ones that were listed on the coupons! Thankfully the staff was able to override the coupon and give us the tees for free anyway - always great customer service when I take these coupons to the Old Navy here in Chico, CA :) 

Overall I definitely had fun with this sample share! It was a bit disappointing that, during the Crowdtap discussion, Old Navy asked us for our opinions on a larger variety of shirts than we were actually able to purchase with the coupons - I was really looking forward to checking out the new Fitted Racerback Tanks, which look like they'd be great for the gym but at a much lower price than Old Navy's activewear line.

Thank you, Old Navy and Crowdtap, for the chance to score free gear! :)