Tuesday, April 24, 2012

All sorts of happenings

I've been sewing, don't worry! As I mentioned a few posts ago, lately I've been in love with all kinds of squares, which I'd been turning into four patches. Well, the day before yesterday, when browsing through one of my books of blocks...I realised granny squares are made of blocks....!

I've been in love with the pattern since it first hit the blogosphere, so I figured it was time to dive in! I've got six done so far. Here are five of them. (Sorry for the Instagram-quality photos, I've been lazy on that front lately!)

 Along the way, I've of course gotten some more shopping done...because I need to expand my stash like I need a hole in the head! Anyway, the FQ bundles from Pink Castle Fabrics are addictive like crazy, because they're so awesome! My favorite two from this bundle - some Hello Pilgrim and my favorite of the Flea Market Fancy prints. How do they know!?!?!? Amazing.

 Anyway, there have been some other events. Unfortunately, I've got a bit of a problem:

I seem to have, at least possibly, chipped a teensy sliver off of my cuboid bone in my right foot. It hurts to walk, though the foot itself doesn't look bad. I'm stuck in this walking boot thing until at least Saturday, at which point I have to go back to the clinic to see what happens next. The physician's assistant said the radiologist will look at it and decide if it is an actual break or just a Little bit of extra bone that's always been there. We will see. All I know is that while it hurts like crazy, I'm perfectly capable of using my sewing machine pedal with my left foot, haha!

This didn't stop me from going to the Eve 6 concert in Sacramento on Sunday night, though, believe me! I saw them in '03 and was SUPER excited to see they were gonna be so close to us so close to my birthday. This is a photo the band took of the crowd at the end of the show - I'm the person behind and to the left of the girl in the black-and-white-striped shirt in the front row. That's right - second row, dead center, for the whole show!! Rock onnnnnn!!!! ;) 

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Tagged, um, a month ago. Oops.

 So Lucy at Charm About You, who is possibly one of my favorite bloggers (aww!) tagged me to answer 11 random questions. I'm supposed to tag people and then have them answer different random questions...but I'm lazy (as shown by the fact that Lucy tagged me on the 22nd of March - really? Come on, Steph.) and am just going to answer. So here goes.

1. What's the most spontaneous thing you've ever done?

Uh. I guess join the Air Force out of high school? This wasn't particularly spontaneous, but I'm REALLY not a spontaneous person, AT ALL, and this was something unexpected.

Proof? Here's me (on the left) and my good pal Jody (check out her blog, A Servant in House Beautiful, for very moving/inspirational posts about her quest to adopt!) on the day we graduated from basic training.

2. What is your favourite time of day?

Whatever time it is when I get to leave work, which is usually 4:30PM. Seriously, there have been several occasions where I've run to my car after clocking out!

3. Which colour of fabric do you use the most?

White. Boring, huh? It's essential, though, for sashing and coordinating. Other than that, probably blue. I love blue. :)

4. Did you have a toy/blanket that you took to bed when you were little?

Yup, his name was Aetna Bear. What? Yes, my teddy bear was named after a health insurance company. My parents have worked for the company basically my whole life, and I got the bear from a raffle at some family day event that they had. It was wearing a little white t-shirt with the company's logo on it. I still have the bear, too, up in my attic.

5. What song always gets stuck in your head?

Lately, the song "Victoria," by Eve 6. It's their new single, I'm going to see them on 4/22 in Sacramento for my birthday, and I absolutely cannot wait! They're one of the few bands I've seen in concert and I think it's swell that they're coming to town the day before my birthday and their new CD (their first since '03) is coming out the day after. :)

6. What's the best concert you've ever been to? Um, Eve 6? LOL. Funny you asked! I went to see them in June of 2003, right after high school ended, on one of their last tours. I was RIGHT up front at the show (which was standing room only). Here's a photo I took of the lead singer, Max (who looks much better with the shaved head he's got now!).

7. What did you want to be when you grew up?

A better question would be what didn't I want to be, hah. Journalist, author, veterinarian (specifically for birds), meteorologist, paleontologist...lots of things described by big words. Needless to say, "paperwork girl at a car dealership" was not on the list. Oh well.

8. Camping or a hotel?

Hotel, hands down. I've been camping once and it was awful. Never again.

9. Do you have a nickname?

Other than Steph, my husband calls me Monkey. I call him Panda. :)

10. Can you play any instruments?

In junior high I played the clarinet and bass clarinet, but I haven't really played either in years. I can still tinker around on a piano, a little. Tunes like this one, from Big Bang Theory. ;)

11. Would you rather call/text/email or write a letter?

Definitely NOT call. I like texting, and a friend of mine and I have recently started writing actual letters back and forth to each other, which has been fun. It all depends on the situation, I suppose!


So there ya go, 11 random questions about me. I'm sure it was more fun for me to answer than for you to read, LOL ;) 

Monday, April 16, 2012

Too busy to photograph?

I was SO productive on Saturday, I'm mega-proud of myself. Of course, I didn't stop to take any photographs with my digital camera, just my iPad through Instagram. If you use it, too, my username is StephMabry. Lots of cute photos of cats, some of my hubby, and plenty of quilts, too. ;)

Now, what was I so busy with? I was busy working on all kinds of things on my Q2 Follow-Along list!

Status of those projects:

1 - K's quilt - no change. Oops.

2 - Crosshatch quilt - top is finished! back is pieced - it will be a yummy teal flannel that I think goes pretty darn well with the front. Sweet.

3 - Giant star - oh, wait, nothing here either. Maybe I wasn't as productive as I thought??

4 - 16 patch quilt - yes! Top is finished being put together, and so is the back (which will be brown flannel. SO creative, right? Not).

5 - baby quilts - Yes, more progress! Backing put together for all three, and two of them are basted - not all three because I was running out of pins and patience.

6 - Half Moon Modern - wait, nothing here, again? I can't decide if the coordinating solid that I have really coordinates as well as I want it to. Further contemplation needed.

7 - Baby clothes quilt - sorry, Rebecca, nothing done on this, but please don't think I've forgotten about it. Because I definitely haven't.

I did work on other things - see, I told you I got stuff done! I worked some more on one of the random squares quilts, so now they're sets of squares sewn into rectangles and then pinned, waiting to be made into 4-patch blocks. I haven't decided if I'm going to make them four patches or 16 patches.

I also have joined up with the My Precious QAL that's running on Flickr. The idea is that you cut into special fabric that you've been saving up and FINALLY make something with it. From the look of the Flickr group, no one's been able to use their precious Heather Ross fabric - there's lots of swapping of Mendocino going on over there! I, however, have hacked up my Outfoxed:

To turn them into squares:

Which I will use for a variation on this quilt, from Moda Bake Shop:

So the weekend tally? Two quilt tops finished, five backs put together, two quilts basted, a bunch of squares sewn into rectangles, and more fabric cut up into squares. Oh, and I finished finding fabric for the Spectrum Charm Swap: BRIGHTS, also on Flickr. There are still spaces available, if you want to join up! :)

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Q2 FAL Pre-Quarter Linky Party

Most of my WIPs are on that top shelf. Note my bolts of flannel? I'm pretty ambitious. At least with my wallet, when things are on sale. (This might be the longest caption ever for a blog photo??)

What a complicated title that is if you see it without reading the post, huh? This is my post for Rhonda and Quilter in the Gap's Finish-a-Long - pre-quarter 2 goal list, let's call it. Maybe that's better. Goals. Easy peasy.


This is what I'm hoping to get done!

Project 1: K's quilt: Yes, the same project that was first on the list LAST quarter... but I've at least made SOME progress - all I have to do is bind it. I think I've been putting it off for so long because part of me knows it's not very good at all - it was the first quilt I put together, so the back is horribly bunched, it's not pieced very well... but I think she'll still like it, all the same.

See? Almost there.

Project 2: One of the "crosshatch" quilts: It's currently in three strips, awaiting more of the white to sash the rows together and the solid raspberry color that I can't remember the proper name of in order to add borders. I think this might be for my good friend T's little girl, who's adorable and who I know will enjoy it, if she doesn't drown in it, as she's three and this quilt seems ginormous.

Project 3: Giant star quilt number two: As I posted about previously, I finished Sara's Wedding Quilt but managed to have almost an entire quilt top left over, so I'm hoping to finish it for another friend of mine. I think I'll do similar quilting on it after I add yellow borders at the top and bottom. Note to self, buy a yard of yellow fabric.

My shoe got in the photo? Weird.
Project 4: 16 patch quilt: Made from squares from a not-so-great swap that I joined (it was my first, and I've quickly come to agree that swaps involving Joann-quality fabric aren't the greatest, even though I freely use their fabrics through my own projects). I think I might finish this up for my parents. I've got all the blocks put together, and the fabric that I've chosen for sashing has arrived. Hopefully I've got enough. I'm not entirely sure, because I'm lazy.

Project five: Baby quilts: As I mentioned above, I freely use Joann-quality fabrics, because it's cheap and nearby and there's something satisfying about having things in hand immediately instead of ordering them. Most of these fabrics are from their red tag racks. I just grouped it all together, cut it up into squares...and lo and behold, I had enough for THREE baby quilts out of it. Since this photo I've got them all made into quilt tops. My goal's to finish one this quarter.

Three quilts stacked up here, but my goal's just to finish one. Set my sights nice and low, I will.

Project six: Half Moon Modern quilt: I've got four-patch blocks made out of my two Half Moon Modern charm packs, and I'm hoping to finish it up. I want to sash it with something but I'm not entirely sure which color to use. Any suggestions???

Project 7: This is the big 'u - clothes quilt: My friend Rebecca, who I've only met online but have known that way for years (the internet is pretty awesome, huh?) has commissioned me to make a quilt from her daughter's baby clothes. I've watched Autumn grow up, thanks to the joys of Livejournal and Facebook, so I was definitely interested in taking on the project! Even more fun is that some of the clothes were Rebecca's when SHE was little, so it's a multi-generational thing.

So far I've got all the clothes cut into "cloth," so to speak. I was surprised at how much fabric comes out of a single shirt or dress!

Also, check out Rebecca's photography website or her blog, because she's pretty awesome. I'm looking forward to her move to California so I can have photos taken of Jeff and I. We skipped a pro photographer for our wedding, and it's my one regret about that day. :)

Anyway, here's a sampling of the clothes...

Love these colors!
I plan on using applique for details like the little pockets and belt on this dress, and the other cute embroidery and such on other items. (Another epic comment? Yes).

I was SO nervous to cut into these cute dresses! They weren't handmade, but looked like they could have been.
Alrighty, there we go! Seven projects for three months. Totally can handle this. Or at least half of this. Until all the swap fabrics come in and I get distracted, anyway!

Friday, April 6, 2012

Another swap? Yes please.

Another busy week in which I've gotten basically nothing accomplished (or at least it feels that way!). My friend and I have started going to early-morning yoga (6AM? Barf) this week, so my body's still adjusting to that, in more ways than one.

I have a ton of projects that are in a state of limbo right now...and unfortunately, the fabric that was supposed to be delivered yesterday and which would help me move those projects along wasn't delivered because, for whatever reason, Amazon is requiring a signature this time. Weird, huh? Hubby wasn't home, and won't be home today at all, so it's likely that I won't get it until next week - eep! Thankfully I have fabric coming from Fabric Shoppe - another variety/mystery pack and some swap fabric - that will tide me over. ;)

In other news, because I *am* addicted to swaps... there's another one going on! Annaliese is likely a kindred spirit - obsessed with charm swaps! - and has been in a ton of rainbow/colorful ones...so she's running one for neutral/solid fabrics. Signups just started today, and she's looking for at least 28 people. Check it out!

That's all I've got! Look for a Q2 Finish-a-Long post sometime this weekend. :)

Monday, April 2, 2012

Overboard? NEVER!

So it's quite possible that I've gone a little overboard with squares. I'm LOVING squares right now. From some WIPs that I've posted to some that I haven't gotten to show you yet, to the... FIVE charm square swaps that I'm in, to fabric that I'm buying and cutting up... it's a bit ridiculous.

(Oh, FYI? If you're looking to join fabric swaps, or you know about some, please check out the Flickr group Fabric Swap Finder - help facilitate our addictions! ;)

Anyway, last week Fabric Shoppe posted on their Facebook page that they were offering up four free fat quarters with any order over a certain amount, so of course I had to get in on that. Of course. I snagged one of their "A Surprise in My Mailbox" remnant bundles, and was SUPER pleased with the results!

Between the "surprise" and the four FQs, this is what I got - plus a bit of Pezzy Prints, which I included for my giveaway winner since I was bad and hadn't sent it yet! Oops!

The bundle split itself pretty nicely into two sets of fabrics. I usually ask my husband for input, and he said he dislikes them both because they're too busy. Too bad.

 I added some fabric from my stash (the pinky-red print at the top) but otherwise, it was all from the bundle.
And here's the other set. The blue/yellow print with birds on it was from my stash for this grouping. I don't remember what it is but I got it as a remnant (I think?) from Sew, Mama, Sew!'s clearance section. The only fabric I wasn't sure about was the gold-with-white-dots-and-red-and-gray-roses-on-it, but I think it will work out okay!

I definitely recommend Fabric Shoppe for all your fabric hoarding needs. Quick shipping, great selection...and make sure to check out their FB page for specials. :)

I think I'll probably end up doing more four-patch blocks with these. Any thoughts on what solid to pair them with? I like plain ol' white for the top set but I'm not sure about the bottom. Input is appreciated!

(and now I'm off to order another set. Because I need fabric for the last swap, and it's my first payday since my raise, so I have to keep celebrating. Because the iPad wasn't enough...)

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Final FInish for Q1

I don't want to say too much about this one right now, other than it was for the Q1 Finish-a-Long at Quilter in The Gap, I said that I wanted to finish it, I've finished it, and here are photos to show you that I have. ;)

What I can say is that it makes a great lap quilt (as that's what I've been using it for!), the quilting is stitch-in-the-ditch, and it is backed with a very snuggly light blue flannel that matches the medallions in the fabric that runs across the middle of the last photograph.

Hooray for finishes! ;)