15 November 2011

Untitled by emmac350
Untitled, a photo by emmac350 on Flickr.

Top finally completed for baby Bryce, born a few weeks ago!

21 September 2011

Working, working

Just wanted to share a quick picture of my current project. Mod Mosaic blocks, 12.5" square. This has to be gender neutral which is hard. I'm loving the way it's turning out though!

I'm linking this up with Design Wall Monday over at Patchwork Times!

29 August 2011

Stash Report Week Something

This stash report, well, confesses a lot. Because I bought 30 yards of fabric (15 yards of Kona Snow for sashings and 15 yards of the chocolate helicopters from the Ready, Set, Go! collection by Ann Kelle for Robert Kaufman...I'm a helicopter pilot who works with helicopter pilots who have babies. It'll get used!)...I don't know if/when I'll ever get back in the positive! Oh, and I have a question - should I count the blocks I'm making for the Civil War Love Letters Quilt as I make them? They're going to take ages to finish, so I would like to, but at the same time, that means I can't count them when they're a top. So many choices! Gah! If I include the blocks I've done, then I have used another .5 yards...but if I don't count them, then at the end I can have a massive amount come off when I've completed the top...but that may not be for another few months! Or longer!

Used this week: 1.8 yards ('s a start!)
Used year to date: 14.6 yards
Added this week: 30 yards
Added year to date: 90.8 yards
Net usage for 2011: (75.4 yards)

Fabric used:

Baby SM's Quilt Backing - 1 yards
Binding for SM's Quilt - .2 yards
Blocks for the Black Rock Stitchery - .3 yards
Block for August in the Scrap Busters' Bee - .1 yards

Baby SM's Quilt

Baby SM's Quilt was finished and delivered on a Sunday and she was born the following Tuesday. I finished it just in time! As for the quilting, I decided to do it all with my free-motion foot. I quilted in the ditch (with the FMF so it was all wobbly like a little kid drew on the quilting) on all of the stars. Then I tried out a few free-motion quilting techniques in the blank squares. Pattern is a edited version of Bonnie Hunter's Random Ohio Stars (I just scaled the stars down to make the quilt finish baby-sized).

Front of Quilt:

Back of Quilt:

My favorite free-motion block of all - it's based on Icicle Lights from the Free Motion Quilting Blog:

My favorite color combination block of all:

My mistake block (can't get by without confessing that one):

A few more awesome blocks and closer-in views of the quilt:

My new way of signing the backs of quilts - fussy cut helicopters from the Ready, Set, Go! collection by Robert Kaufman:

I hope you've enjoyed looking at this new quilt finish; hopefully I'll be able to blog a little more often in September as my schedule is supposed to be a bit less crazy. We'll see, but I hope to see you all again soon!

19 June 2011

It's been a while since my last post...and I feel like I spend every post's beginning saying that. But oh well! I have lots of confessions and lots of exciting things and lots of pictures to show you all! So that being said...

Baby C's Quilt

I have a friend, whom we'll call K (yes, I use a lot of initials, but I don't want people to be angry about their identities appearing online...I'm a big fan of privacy) who has now just had a baby. She has an 18 month old son, E, and a newborn son, C. I've known K as long as I've known A and M from the previous post. I found out this winter that she was pregnant and I obviously was going to make her a quilt. She's dabbled in quilting and has made a top but never quilted it. She does do rag quilts and such though. So anyways, I was going to make her a quilt. The baby room was going to be done up in Mickey Sports stuff but she wanted a "bright quilt like you [I] make" so I had to oblige her. I went with a simplified bento box design that I had played around with in my spare time. I went bright and colorful and somewhat gender neutral with the colors and loved the result.

I just quilted in the ditch on this one. I thought about filling in the parts of the boxes with quilting but decided I wanted to leave the design to shine through without the quilting hiding it. I love quilting but sometimes you just don't want it to outshine the quilt itself.

Front of the quilt:

Back of the quilt:

Front and back folded together:


All folded up and ready to give to mommy!

Baby S's Quilt

This quilt has been almost a year in the making. It was 7 months late, but his mom didn't seem to care. Her inspiration for the baby's room was this bedding set. I did log cabin blocks last June and got the top made up right before I started my international move. I took the top with me on my traveling before leaving the country and bought backing and hand-quilting supplies (mine had long been packed up at this point) to hand-quilt on the driving and flying to get to Germany. JoAnn Fabrics had the PERFECT backing fabric - a striped fabric with all of the colors (green, orange, brown, and blue also with a bit of white and yellow mixed in) which I used. I hand-quilted it with white thread in a combination of loops and stippling. It started out as stippling but I like it crossing over itself every so often...I like the circle-type shapes it creates. Because this quilt was hand-quilted, it got put on the back burner a lot, but it got pulled out more than a few times for driving. My husband usually drives when we're going on a trip, so I sit in the passenger seat and sew or read. This quilt finally got finished when I was back in the states at the beginning of June. I hand-sewed the binding, got pictures of it, and sent it off to the family who emailed me about a week later thanking me profusely.

Front of quilt:

Back of quilt:

Front and back:

Baby SM's Quilt

Baby SM's father is a coworker of mine. She (initials are of her first and middle name, to distinguish her from baby S) is the fifth baby and the first girl. So her quilt had to be girly, that's for sure! She's due August 1 and I've completed the top. I used Bonnie Hunter's Random Ohio Stars pattern and scaled it back from 12" and 6" stars to 9" and 4.5" stars. I tried to arrange the colors a bit like a rainbow, so the mostly red ones are at the top and the mostly blue ones are at the bottom. It isn't a perfect gradient but it's close.

My problem with this quilt is that I have NO IDEA how to quilt it. How do you quilt something like this? I can't just quilt in the ditch without spending a significant amount of time turning the quilt around to go around the sides of the triangle pieces. I can't do straight line stitching based off of the edges of the blocks since they overlap and don't go straight from one side to the other. I've only done one quilt (the doll quilt I entered in the Blogger's Quilt Festival) with free-motion quilting so I'm hardly an expert on that, but I'm thinking I need to figure something out to FMQ on it. But what? Will I have to do separate designs in the stars vs. in the background? I'm stuck. I don't even know if I'm going to do one of what my husband calls my "traditional" backings where I slice it up and put mini versions of the same thing as on the front in a row across it. This quilt just has me stymied! Also, I just used the word stymied. Any ideas ya'll have would be greatly appreciated! Oh, and I just noticed (it's hard to see in the picture but it's there) that one star has one set of points turned 90 degrees the wrong way. It's not in an easy-to-fix place so I'll just leave it as it is. My husband convinced me not to tear the whole top apart to fix one piece on a small star, somehow. Oh well, I guess it's got character like a lot of the old antique quilts you see.

The Wanna-Be Farmer's Wife Quiltalong

If you haven't been hiding under a rock or in a cave for the past two weeks, you've probably seen that there is a rather large group of quilters doing the Farmer's Wife Quiltalong right now. I really wanted to do it but don't have the book. Rather than buy the book and do it, I decided to instead do the Civil War Love Letters Sampler Quilt. My now Mother-in-Law (I think this was over the Christmas break where my husband proposed to me, but it might have been the year before, I'm not sure ) bought it for me as a Christmas present. My book, however, didn't come with a CD so I've been tracing the pictures in the book and teaching myself to paper piece with them. It's been a little rough but things are turning out okay. Some of the ones with more pieces are turning out slightly smaller than they should be, but they're generally working out okay. It's definitely fixable with some creative fudging on my sashing (whatever I choose for it). The best part is that I'm using all scraps (I've had to pull the bigger piece of one of the fabrics out when my scrap wasn't big enough one time so far, but other than that my usage is all scraps) from my brown, green, blue, and orange bags. My husband really liked the colors from baby S's quilt, so he requested that I do this quilt in those colors. This quilt will be for out bed so I'm going to do enough for two extra rows to make it rectangular. I have NO IDEA how I'm going to quilt this since I only have a tiny machine - maybe I'll find someone around me with a long arm that they can teach me how to use so I can use it? This quilt will most likely end up sized for a California King sized bed (our future bed when we get back to the states) so it's not going to fit in my little Jenny the Janome. *sigh* Maybe I should save up for a longarm? I can't imagine that I'll be able to save up enough for it to make it happen now or anytime relatively soon but I can always hope, can't I? My husband thinks it's cheating if someone else quilts my quilts, so getting it longarmed by someone else probably isn't an option. I don't know...maybe the size of this one will change that. We'll see.

The blocks I've finished so far:

Block 1: Enthusiasm

Block 2: A Secession Ball

Block 3: Healthful Region

Block 4: March in the Mountains (this one won't lay's not as funny-shaped as it looks like it is)

Block 5: Sorrows of War

Block 6: Liberal with Furlough (newest one finished and it really won't lay flat yet

Stash report number whatever it is...

Used this week: 2.5 yards
Used year to date: 13.0 yards
Added this week: 52 yards
Added year to date: 60.8 yards
Net usage for 2011: (47.8 yards)

Fabric Used:

.75 yard - binding for baby C's quilt
.75 yard - binding for baby S's quilt
1 yard - top for baby SM's quilt

Fabric Added:

50 yards of FQs (200 FQs from 2x100 FQ sets from Keepsake Quilting...some of it is visible in the picture above...some of my husband's present is also visible on the left)
2 yards of Fox print fabric also from Keepsake Quilting (I love foxes)

Back in the negatives again, sadly. And I have a TON to use up here before I am back in the positive. So help me use it. Give me ideas for quilting the Random Ohio Stars quilt for baby SM so I can pull a backing and quilt it. Help me come up with ways to use more fabric, because the year is half over and 47.8 yards of fabric is a lot to use up. I will get back in the positive...somehow...

19 May 2011

It's time for the Blogger's Quilt Festival!

Hi! If you're coming over here from the Blogger's Quilt Festival, welcome to the Quilting Hermit! My quilt for the Festival is very special (I'm sure everyone else's quilts are too) to me and to a wonderful little girl that I knew for almost a year.

It all started when my husband and I moved to Europe and my husband left on a several month business trip. One of the people who helped me out a TON was my new friend, A. I met A and her daughter, M, at church the first week I was there when A introduced herself and made me feel like I was truly welcome in church (sometimes it can be pretty daunting to show up as a new person, even in church!). A picked me up from dropping one of the cars off for 7:30 in the morning. And then she dropped me back off the next morning, also at 7:30, to pick up said car when it was done. She never complained about it. It was my first time that my husband and I had been apart (we'd been married a little over a year at that point) and I was in a new place, trying to figure out life in a totally new country! So someone who is willing to drive you back home so you can make it to work by 9 is golden.

I started to get to know M one Sunday when A unexpectedly invited me to go see "Ramona and Beezus" (an hour's drive away) with M and one of M's friends. On the drive, I realized that M is quite a bit like me when I was her age (8 years old) - imaginative, loving to read, curious about everything. I explained why I couldn't wear pierced earrings to her, and also how non-pierced earrings work. She found out that I sewed, and was enthralled.

A, M, and I still got together (although not as often) once I started working full time. We'd go to board game nights with a few other friends (hooray, Settlers of Catan!) and enjoy each other's company. It seemed like just a few days later when our husbands all finally came back from their business trips and we only saw each other in church. And just a few months after that, A and M were going to be leaving Europe for the States! All of those times we said "we should get together" but never did suddenly seemed like such a shame...I should have made time for A and M. So on the night before they flew, we finally got together for a short time during board game night at my house. I took A and M into my sewing room and M had a blast looking through my fabric scraps. I offered to make her a doll quilt and she requested something with beach colors.

I knew what I wanted to do for the quilt - make one of my typical drawings from my childhood into a quilt for her. When I was her age, I would draw ocean scenes in sidewalk chalk all over the driveway. They consisted of an ocean floor full of wildlife, a desert island with a palm tree, and a sun either in the top corner or setting over the whole scene, with a few M shaped seagulls flying overhead. I decided to try free-piecing with this quilt, and you can see my first free-pieced fish (Nemo's dad Marlin) here. I made the rest of the top fairly quickly, although that palm tree was the absolute bane of my existence. The completed top, basted and just barely started with the quilting is here.

I taught myself free motion quilting (or at least started teaching myself) with this quilt. No practice pads, no making pot holders to try a new quilting design. I started out with stitching the seaweed in the ditch, then outlined the three fish, then made the swirls in the water. From there I put the waves on the strip at the top of the water, made bark and veins on the palm tree, and quilted the sun and seagulls. Then I attacked the big elephant in the room: pebbling. I don't know why I thought pebbling would be so hard. It wasn't. I figured it out on my own. My pebbles are rather messy, but I don't mind. They're perfect for their purpose in life. I pebbled the beach and the ocean bottom and gave the fish scales. I bound it with some leftover binding, and for the first time ever put hanging triangles on the back.

I think that's all the description I let's see some pictures! Yay pictures!

Front overall view of the quilt:

Closeup on the sun's quilting/piecing:

The seagulls...I LOVE them!

The palm's a little rough, but that thing was a bear and a half to make. I almost gave up on the whole quilt just because of how difficult those fronds were to piece! Luckily, my husband encouraged me...and while it's still not perfect, it's perfect. You know?

Closeup on the desert island...that fabric was won in a giveaway almost a year ago. I won some bags of scraps and this fabric was in it! So perfect!

Ocean waves! Love them!

Dory...she was a little hard to make, but I got her. All of the fish have scales, but they're easiest to see on her dark stripe on her back.

Nemo and his dad, Marlin. Marlin came first, then Nemo. Such a cute little family!

Pebbling on the bottom of the ocean - this fabric was another one that I won in the giveaway. Everything in the giveaway was perfect (a lot of the leaf fabrics I used in my mom's Falling Leaves quilt were from this same set of scraps) for projects I've done or are planning on doing.

Overall view of the back. In hindsight I would have used something other than that purple fabric for the hanging triangles, but they were already cut and didn't require anything but a quick press down the center of their diagonal before using.

One last artsy shot. I love this quilt.

A said that they have received the box, but M's birthday isn't until the 24th and she's not going to open it until then. If you want to know how M liked it, check back next week!

If you haven't already, go check out Amy and the rest of the participants in the Blogger's Quilt Festival!

Amy's Creative Side

08 May 2011

Is it already Sunday?

Have you ever had too much week and not enough weekend? Yeah, me too. This week was no exception...I think I need a weekend for my weekend! But I do have a lot to look forward to this coming weekend! My parents are coming to visit...I haven't seen them in person since June, although we do Skype regularly! They'll only be here for a few days on the tail end of a business trip for my dad, but I'm so excited to be able to show them around Germany! My mom's never been outside of the US and Canada that I know of, so this is her chance to try out her new passport! She was going to go to Germany last year but the Icelandic Volcano (I'm not even going to try to spell its name) cancelled that trip.

I'm turning to you, bloggy friends (I know you're out there, even if you are quiet!) to help me through this week. My husband's company is going for a trip to Normandy this weekend and so he left tonight. Yes, it's Mother's Day, but we don't have any kids so it doesn't really count for us. After all, you kind of need to be a mother to celebrate Mother's Day, right? Well, not at church today. To try to be sensitive to women who may be trying to conceive but not having luck, flowers and muffins (96 of which were baked in my kitchen by my husband and two friends on Saturday afternoon and night) were given out to every adult woman. I don't seems like it might be a little overkill to me. And then there was the debate with my husband afterwards. So tell me this - the pastor at the beginning of the service asked any woman who hadn't gotten a flower to raise her hand, but none of the women did and their husbands either had to point to them or raise their hands for them. Do you think that the women were being selfish and wanted their husbands to do a little more work to get them a flower? Or do you think that the women just didn't want to make a fuss about it then and that they would get their flower after service? My husband thinks the former and I think the latter. Anyways...I seem to be going off on rabbit trail tangents a lot right now...I hope you can follow the popcorn popper that is my train of thought!

While the guys were making a mess of my kitchen (you should have seen the state of my stand mixer this morning! Dried blueberry muffin batter in the part where the bowl hooks in! Seriously?), I was cutting and sewing. I pieced the back for the newest quilt I've been working on. It's for my friend Kate, who is due June 1 (so it's not late yet!). The front is a simplified Bento Box Quilt that is just a square in a square (not wonky), not a multi-leveled square. It's for a little boy so it's all bright reds, oranges, yellow, blue, and green on the front and the back is another of the sheets that I used to back the Brown Bag Quilt. I cut this one horizontally and put in small pieced square-in-square blocks in a double row close to the bottom. It helps to tie the back (orange and khaki flowers) to the front (bright Bento). I could have bought another back for it but it would not have gotten here in time for be to be quilting it by now! I am proud, though, because all of the squares on the back are 100% out of my strips and crumbs and scraps. That makes me happy, although I don't think it's made a dent in the least! Every little bit helps, though. So here's the quilt all scrunched up in my Jenny Janome!

And here's the back - the quilt is not straight, which is why the stripe of little blocks looks's definitely straight across (or close to it!):

I spent yesterday sewing with some dear old friends: Evelyn, Ninny, Ruth, and IdgieLizzie, Jane, Mr. Darcy, and Mr. Bingley, and Christine, Raoul, Meg, and the Phantom. So did you guess which movies I was watching correctly? I love those movies...I've watched all of them probably dozens of times in my life so far, much to the annoyance of my husband. I love watching my favorite movies over and over and over again (I've watched Fried Green Tomatoes probably 5 times in the last month alone) whereas he watches them, appreciates them, and puts them away. I can't just put them away, though! They're like old friends! And every time you see them you catch something realizing that Raoul knew that it was the Phantom with Christine on stage during the showing of Don Juan Triumphant based off of his facial expression, or noticing the exact moment when Mr. Darcy falls in love with Lizzie. Yes, they're old friends, and the more you spend time with them, the better you know them.

And then the last bit of fun stuff for this post - the stash report! Did I make it back into the positives yet? Let's go see! (I'm such a cheeseball!)

Stash Report:

Used this week: 2.4 yards
Used year to date: 10.5 yards
Added this week: 0 yards
Added year to date: 8.8 yards
Net usage for 2011: 1.7 yards

Woo-hoo! I'm back in the black! It took me long enough, and I think I'll be negative again here before too long, but I've officially used more this year than I've added. It feels great.

This reports includes the pieced backing on Kate's quilt. I haven't done anything beyond that. And I won't be doing any major sewing next weekend so hopefully I can stay in the black, but my anniversary (the big 2 year mark!) is the 23rd, so my report may sink back into the negative again...

01 May 2011

The Brown Bag Quilt (plus a long-overdue stash report!)

If you were paying attention to the sidebar on my blog, you would have noticed that the Brown Bag Quilt (henceforth in this post known as the BBQ) is listed as a 2011 finish. I got it done on the very last day I could have and got the pictures posted to the flickr group. But life happened (I went to a ball, went on a marriage retreat, and otherwise stuff just got in the way) and I never posted here about it! Shame on me...but over at the BBQ Blog site, they said "We would love for each winner to comment and leave a link
to their blog so we can follow any other fun information and photos they might have gathered during the months the contest was going on.  "

Now, if you remember, this was the pile of fabrics I started out with:

A little crazy, right? My thinking was to use the black entirely for sashing since it was so much darker than all of the other fabrics and it stood out...a lot. But with the other ones, what to do? I settled on a disappearing 9 patch design, but I would sash in between the 9 patches with the black, and then maybe sash between the cut up pieces, but that was dependent on how much of the black I had left. These each were half a yard of fabric, and as I found out, it's not much when you're trying to use that much sashing (even if you do cut it to 1" before using it!).

As for adding in fabrics, I wanted to downplay the large-scale prints so I pulled the biggest prints I had. After all, using small scale/solids would emphasize the crazy print combinations I had, so I went big. After all, go big or go home.

Then I cut. And sewed. And cut. And sewed. And didn't take pictures of any of it. I know. I'm bad. I improvised a lot so I could use as much of those fabrics as I could...the rules of the challenge said you had to use 90% of the fabric you were given. So extra bits from the cutting became a piano key border around the outside of the top. When the top was done and I just had to choose a backing, I grabbed one of those old bedsheets I bought at the thrift store! I bought them despite the fabric diet...but almost 7 yards of fabric for about $3? Exactly. But to tie it into the front (since it wasn't included in the front at all), I cut it diagonally and inserted the leftovers of the piano key border going through the back.

I quilted the quilt in a kind of plaid way. I quilted a line 1/4" to one side of a black sashing line all the way down. I quilted a second line about 1/4" to the side of THAT line. I did this on both sides of all of the black sashing. Then in the border I just quilted in the ditch between the piano keys. I bound it with leftover strips of the focus fabrics and that was that.

Front of Quilt:

Back of Quilt:

Texture shot to show off the quilting a bit better (I usually understand pictures better than descriptions...and I'm sure I'm not the only one):

As you can see, a ton of crazy not-really-matching fabrics in there...but they match because they don't match! Right? ...right? Beyond the pictures, the thing this quilt really taught me is that I don't pin enough when I baste quilts. Because this was an interlocking sort of quilting design, there are quite a few small puckers all over the quilt where two lines intersect. It's not really noticeable unless you know to look for it, but lesson learned. Pin like it's going out of style.

I have no idea yet who this quilt will go of my husband's coworkers is expecting he and his wife's second baby but they haven't found out the gender yet. If it's a girl, this one will go to them (because they're supposed to be moving in two months and I wouldn't have time to get another one done for them). If not, it'll probably go to a charity like Quilts for Kids.

And on to the stash's been a while. :) Let's see...

Used this week: 4 yards
Used year to date: 8.1 yards
Added this week: 0 yards
Added year to date: 8.8 yards
Net usage for 2010: (.7 yards)

This report estimates the following:

1 yd - piano key slash on the BBQ + binding, 164 2.5" squares for Thomas Knauer's No-Repeat Scrap Vomit Quilt (isn't that name AWESOME?), playing around with a few random strings and crumbs to make two crumb blocks and four string blocks...none of which I like and which I will probably offer to anybody willing to give them a good home at some point here in the general future
2 yds - finished quilt top, will be posted later
1/2 yd - binding for the hand-quilting project that's been quilted
1/2 yd - top, back, binding of the Nemo quilt

Not bad...and I'm almost back in the black! That being said, there may be a TON of fabric coming into my stash next month (not because of me...but my anniversary is coming up and hints have been dropped) so I better get sewing!

And, if you've gotten this far (which I do appreciate!), answer me this one question: How do you stretch your quilt backing, batting, and top out when basting (for sewing on a domestic non-longarm sewing machine) so that you don't get mini puckers when you quilt in any sort of intersecting pattern?

25 April 2011

My First One!

Could it be? My first attempt at free motion quilting? I assure you that while I've been silent on the blog, I certainly haven't been idle! As you can see, I finished the Nemo quilt top and have started quilting it with my brand spankin' new free motion quilting foot set for my Jenny. I'll show you some of my other finishes later...the Brown Bag Quilt, my log cabin quilt (hand quilting project from last summer), quilt top for a little boy set to arrive on June 1, and a few string and crumb blocks that I'm not sure I like. Life is busy though and I'm off to bed. Tomorrow will come all too soon!

07 March 2011

All Kinds of Updates!

First of all, thank you to all of you who are praying for my friend. He's doing better than could be expected, but he has a long road ahead of him. As of Sunday he'd had two surgeries on his legs, and was facing several more possibly this week. It's going to be a while before he can walk again, but doctors are cautiously optimistic that while he may not be back to 100% after he's recovered, he can at least be in the 90% range. Hopefully I'll be able to visit him and see him this week (one time he was in surgery, the other time he was asleep).

Second, I finally have some stash usage to report! Stash Report 10:

Used this week: 3 yards
Used year to date: 4.1 yards
Added this week: 0 yards
Added year to date: 8.8 yards
Net usage for 2010: (4.7 yards)

I'm still not in the black, but I finished a quilt top and pulled a backing. Plus then I'll have to bind it, which will use up the last of those fabrics. Want to see my finished quilt top?

It's the Brown Bag Quilt top, and I finished it Saturday morning while my husband was playing basketball with some friends. I'm rather happy with how it came out:

It's a bit of a bizarre angle on the picture, but you get the idea. It's a crazy quilt in that the fabrics in it are all rather loud...but I love the effect! My husband was surprised at how...not horrible it looked when I finished it. I'm still unsure of how to quilt it, and I still have enough of the fabrics left to need to figure something out quickly. I'm backing it with a piece of one of the sheets I bought a few weeks ago (it's big enough to fit the quilt and I'm running out of time, so that decided it!), so maybe I'll cut it somewhere and add a piano key strip (like the borders) in there? I've got too much of the fabrics to just use them as binding, so that's probably what will happen. Wahoo!

I also started playing around with free-piecing Sunday night. I'm waiting for batting to arrive for the BBQ (haha, not barbecue!), so I started on another project: a doll quilt for a very special little girl whose family just moved away. She wanted it to be kind of beachy, so my first free-pieced thing ever (possibly for her doll quilt)  is this little guy...yes, I found Nemo! Or rather, I made him.

He isn't perfect, but I think he looks pretty good considering he's my first attempt at free-piecing! The tail is a bit big for the body but I like him anyways. :)

What do you think? I'd love some feedback as my husband doesn't know much about free-piecing...

05 March 2011

Prayers, please

A college classmate/colleague of mine was in a car accident last night. He should have just gotten out of surgery a few minutes ago, and hopefully we'll have more information on his condition soon. From what I was told, his legs were crushed and the doctors expect him to be in the hospital for at least a month. Please pray for his healing, and that he'll have full use of his legs back soon. We're all very worried about him, and hope that more information will come out soon.

31 January 2011

Holy Cow! or Stash Reports 4&5

I feel more and more like a busy busy bee as time goes on, but that's kind of the way of things. I missed my stash report last week as I was in Belgium on a trip to go to various sites from the Battle of the Bulge. It was a fun trip, but absolutely NO sewing or fabric purchasing happened. This week, however, is a different story.

I went thrifting with my husband on Saturday and found a vintage Singer sewing machine for about $90. She was in really good condition, considering her age - the machine was still black, and had a lot of the gold still on it, although it was cracked. I'm working on de-gunking the metal latticework on the stand - it's going to take me a couple more hours, at least a hundred more Q-tips, and vinegar. The one part I've finished looks AMAZING, though, as most of the paint is still intact. I will share Sasha the Singer as soon as she's cleaned up and ready for pictures!

I also bought an old set of sheets at one of the stores...about $5 and I got (based off of the measurements of each of the pieces) 6.33 yards of fabric! It's a nice print - white background with orange flowers on it. They aren't cartoon flowers either - they're much more realistic. I lucked out too - the set consisted of two 29x30" pillowcases and two duvet cover-type "flat sheets." So in essence, I got four pieces of fabric 29x30 AND four flat sheets! The sheets will be saved for backings, and the pillowcases will be cut up and used in quilts. I'm a happy girl!

Saturday night I pulled out the fabric for my Brown Bag Quilt. I've currently cut half of it, so I'm counting my usage for now as 1 yard of fabric (as it was 2 yards of fabric to begin with). I'm adding some fabrics too but I think I might use some of the chunks of the rest of the fabric to piece the back. I've kind of planned out what this quilt will look like, but there are still some bits up in the air!

So, without further ado, here's the damage done:

Used this week: 1 yard
Used year to date: 1.09645 yards
Added this week: 6.33 yards
Added year to date: 8.83 yards
Net used for 2011: (7.7355)

I still have some time to make up the difference - there are 11 more months to quilt like a fiend! Now if only I could find the time...

20 January 2011


Prague was amazing. We had perfect weather too - it was in the 40s and 50s the whole time, and sunny. It was good to just...put everything down and just enjoy it. We had a few mishaps getting there (the map we had for Prague was just for the walking district/downtown area, not for driving into the city, plus no GPS because we use our phones for that and didn't want to use international data) but we made it safe. We walked around that first night without a camera because it was already dark and we just wanted to enjoy. We wandered from about 6 pm until 9, when we realized that we needed to get some dinner and went to a Kobe Sushi and Grill. Not very Czech food, but then again we live in Germany and the foods are about the same. The Kobe was AWESOME - I had Sushi Menu 1 (8 California , 6 salmon, and 6 octopus rolls) and my husband had the Filet Mignon. He said it was just about the best steak he's ever had. The sushi was fantastic - I had a bad sushi experience a while back and this was my first time eating it since then and it truly was wonderful. I loved everything about it. We also had the Chocolate Cream Cake and the white cream cake (don't remember what it was called) but they were also amazing.

Saturday morning I woke up to this view out of the hotel room window:

Pretty amazing, huh? The camera went with us on Saturday, and it was a beautiful day to have it. We walked around for (we estimate) 18 miles on Saturday - 9 hours straight of walking, with only breaks at mealtimes.

This is only a selection of the pictures we took (after all, I can't really show you all 105 pictures that we took between Saturday and Sunday!), but I love them all.

These are the prettiest bars over a window I've ever seen, and they look rather quilty to me:

Streetcar Cafe:

Even the manhole covers were pretty!

This poor guy couldn't catch a break - I found him in a dumpster. Poor knight!

Astronomical clock:

My husband wants to live here someday:

This is what happens when the astronomical clock tower strikes the hour - these guys come out to say hi, and then the trumpeter sticks his head out of the top on all sides and plays a little tune:

The entrance to the Charles Bridge:

I felt bad for this statue lady, to suffer the indignity of having a gull standing on her head:

I'm not sure why I love this picture so much...the only way I can describe it is that I feel the picture. Does that sound weird? Maybe the repetition of the windows is appealing, or...I don't know...but I love it.

View from the palace on top of the hill at night:

LOVE the color combination, the detail on the building, and how it just glows:

Evil nesting doll:

Creepy marionette stores were everywhere. I could just imagine those little guys grabbing you as you try to leave...ugh.

View of the square, with my future house (haha):

Death by nesting dolls:

A dementor escaped from Azkaban!

And finally, proof that I got over my biggest food aversion: food that looks back at you. Meet Carlos the Crawfish and Karlov the trout.

All in all, the trip to Prague was awesome. It's a beautiful city, we had beautiful weather, and walked well over 20 miles in one weekend. We were both sore and tired by the end, but made it out alive. We had fun, only spent money on food, lodging, admission to the Jewish Synagogues, and tickets to a show at one of the several Black Light Theaters (we saw Faust, and it was bizarre and mind-bending knowing that there were multiple people on stage that we legitimately could not see, even if we wanted to). No knick-knacks, just a lot of window shopping. We got to go into a Cartier, Gucci, Prada, etc. in the fashionable shopping district. And my hubby and I both agreed that while the stuff was nice, it really was no different than cheaper but still good quality stuff you can get at the less expensive places. So in the end, Prague was awesome. And I hope you enjoyed my pictures as much as I enjoyed taking them!