Saturday, April 27, 2013

Get It Done - May 2013

Yes, I know I've still got a few days left but it doesn't seem that I'll be getting my list anywhere close to done this time around.

1. Nana's Quilt

I finished piecing the main portion of the top a week and a half ago and its been sitting on my design wall with one humility block still in place (or should I say, the wrong place) ever since.

 I finally decided on a border today.

But I'm going to try to connect the inner blue border across the corners. I'm just not sure how to illustrate that in EQ7.

The rest of my list just didn't even get attempted.

However, I did finish the following projects, that were not on my list:

1. Bind "Disappearing Cube Trick"

2. Made a Sewing Machine Apron

Which really is a thing of beauty because it was made completely from my stash from a scrap box of 9 inch squares and I got to use some ugly fabric for the back that I never have to see.

However, it did make me realize that I need to rethink my sewing room setup. Right now the L-shaped table is really convenient but I can utilize only about 60% of my cutting table. I need a better plan.

Its getting to be Ragnarok time, so my list for May will be mostly garb related.

May Get It Done List

1. Finish Nana's Quilt completely by Mother's Day
2. Make three garb shirts for Jack
3. Make at least two pairs of garb pants for Jack.
4. Finish my gray surcoat, and my purple surcoat.

April isn't quite done yet, so I'll update this later if I make more progress.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

April Block Swap @ QuiltingBoard

Just thought I'd post a quick note on the quilt block that I received today. It came on the perfect day since work was kind of nasty and I needed the pick-me-up. My theme was any pattern star block in jewel tones.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Its Dagorhir Season!

Its time to start thinking about garb. Also, I seem to be in a bit of a quilting rut. I have lots of projects but I don't really feel like working on them. So we are switching it up.

For the uninitiated, Dagorhir is a nation-wide competitive medieval reenactment society, made up of like-minded folks who love wearing medieval garb and swinging swords at each other.

Well, just like every year, unexpected expenses are preventing me from spending oodles of money on garbing supplies. I must attempt to re-purpose what I have and create something I like out of garb that I don't like.

Project #1

I threw together this surcoat, a combination of a pattern for a corset and "winging it" from a surcoat I liked in a medieval shop,  a couple years ago and it never fit me properly. I think I wore it once. Here it is on my dress dummy:

Surcoat Back

You can see the sides are split, awkwardly. This would be because I naively made the tails straight when I have curves! Ugh. It totally looks like it was made for a guy. So the dress I wear underneath sticks out all funny. The waist is too low, and the shoulder straps are too long. And of course, it is COMPLETELY lined, making adjustments difficult.

So when I pin everything to where it is supposed to be I get the following:

That looks so much better doesn't it? Haha! I think I may be able to fix it by folding the top over the bottom like so.

A little stitching and a little trim or accent fabric and that should work out okay. It won't be as finished or polished since I'll have to cut into the lining but I think I can make it work. Then I will tackle the problems with the skirt.

More to come! My good friend Ravenna is also prepping for Ragnarok and here is her blog if you are interested in learning more: Ravenna Designs

Sunday, April 21, 2013

A Weekend of New Things

I'm stuck at home right now feeling generally miserable but trying not to dwell on it. So I thought I'd write a positive post - I'm calling it my weekend of new things.

My two favorite young gentleman (5 and 4 yrs old) had their third karate class yesterday. Manda and I take them every week and they always have a great time. This week they practiced 5 or 6 new exercises. I enjoy watching the class and I have to admit, it is hard not to get up and try the karate exercises. I may look into taking a class myself soon. Then we ate lunch at Pei-Wei (I tried the black peppercorn chicken - it has asparagus! Delicious, very spicy.) and ran off to a Rock and Gem show where Rune, Riylan, and Morric of Anga Corma were demonstrating chain-mail.

Image copyright Anga Corma
Next on the list was the attempt at an alfredo sauce last night. I was trying to make Olive Garden's Steak Gorgonozla Alfredo (one of Jack's favorite meals out). Just a quick heads up everyone - if you pick up an cheese blend to make alfredo sauce, make sure its Parmesan and Romano only. Mozzarella turns your cheese sauce to glue. Thick goopy inedible glue. Sorry, I didn't take any pictures of this particular disaster. It was actually kinda gross looking anyway. The steak was mostly salvageable but a couple ounces of steak a meal does not make. Jack was a good sport about it and even offered to "cook" pizza for me. One phone call later and Pizza Delivery Guy came to the rescue, yet again.

I found a sewing machine "caddy" at JoAnn's last week and thought it was a brilliant idea and wondered why I'd never heard of it before. Think an apron with pockets for your sewing machine, so that all your pins, scissors, etc are right on hand.

I really really really wanted to whip one out (along with a cathedral window pincushion) but decided to be good and finish a project I had already started first. Since I'm trying new things this weekend I pulled out my Disappearing Cube Trick wall hanging and added a binding, using Sue's Magic Binding technique that I found on "52 Quilts in 52 Weeks" I really love this, its much easier than hand-stitching a binding on and looks very nice with the two layers of color.

I also made cinnamon rolls in the waffle maker for breakfast this morning. Again, highly recommend. They don't really taste like cinnamon rolls and they don't really taste like waffles, but they take about 3 minutes to cook and that is a total win in my book. Just put the refrigerator rolls in the waffle maker and cook until done. Perfect for Ragnarok.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

What Border?

I want to do a pieced border for Nana's quilt, only I can't decide which one.
Option 1

Option 2
Option 3
Option 4
Anyone have an opinion? I'm open to suggestions.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Oh, Sigh

Linking up to WIP Wedneday...

I'm so happy with this quilt top, finished it last night, very proud of myself as this is the most complicated quilt I've attempted yet and it came out gorgeous! Took a picture to post, and looked closely...

And then I noticed my humility block. It shouldn't be hard to spot. It seems I have a date with my seam ripper after Bible Study tonight. *sigh*... Just glad I caught it before I put the borders on.

I think my new rule will be to leave a completed flimsie on the design wall for a few days to make sure I didn't miss anything.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Small Victory Sunday

Things always get worse before they get better, yes? I spent an entire day yesterday (and will probably spend most of today) NOT SEWING because I was organizing and cleaning. Oh it feels like a waste of a weekend. But I do have something to show for it:

Tucked away in the corner of my closet is 90% of my fabric. I'm calling this major victory, even though everything that was in that corner is now spread all over my sewing room, meaning what? The mess is worse that when I started.  Oh well, one thing at a time.

Which actually got me thinking. Major victories are great, but no one really seems to celebrate the small victories. Those little accomplishments that seem to get you through the week. The good habits you are trying to form that you seem to forget most of the time, but there is that one day when you remember to take your vitamins, or find time to read the Bible, that really shines. For example, every time I manage to cook a meal at home or pack a lunch for work is a small victory.

 Which brings us to Small Victory Sunday! What was your small victory today or this week? Celebrate it in the comments, I'd love to hear what you accomplished that made you feel better.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

DP9 - Daisy Garden?

Got frustrated with Nana's quilt the other night and needed a distraction. I wanted to try a disappearing nine patch quilt, so into the scrap box I dug. I have a box of squares of various sizes from 6 in to 11 inch and I thought they might work okay. So we're talking scrappy DP9.

I'm not really sure where I'm going with this since I don't have enough of any one fabric to make a large quilt. I guess we'll see.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Excessive Messiness and Other Things


This post contains excessive messiness, which may be unsuitable for delicate audiences.

After  this...
which upon the acquisition of new fabric stash builders coupled with the advent of a few projects turned into this...
 and this...
I finally had enough. Now generally, I don't believe in keeping up with housework. Its usually a waste of time for two reasons:

1. Its stressful
2. It takes time that is often better spent doing fun things.
3. When you die, your primary regret will not be "Gee, I wish I'd spent more time cleaning"

Did I say two reasons? I meant dozens but for the sake of brevity I will only list three. (Reminds me of that old joke... you know, the one that goes "There are only 10 types of people in the world, those that understand binary and those that don't...")

However, when the mess begins to hamper the fun, its time to take a step back and temporarily reassess my priorities. So today, instead of sewing, I focused on organizing. I needed a solution that would stay organized, more or less, after I dug through my stash looking for the EXACT RIGHT fabric I needed to finish a project. That is when I delved into the world of comic boards, which are relative sturdy but lightweight specially coated cardboard pieces designed to protect comic books.

And now I have this:

Which took all afternoon and is only a partial rendition of my total stash. But now putting fabric away is as easy as shelving a book.  My books are still on my bookshelf, if you can find the bookshelf.

On this plus side, its turns out that a bookshelf that sat vacant for a long time due to the awkwardly sized shelving is just the right size for my comic boards! WIN!!!!

One of the reasons I've been working so much on Nana's Quilt is because it is on my cutting table, i.e. in the way of other projects (the rest of which can be found in those piles pictured above).  Here is the latest.

Only five more blocks to go, one of which is half done. This is also a stash-buster!

And I did also complete the block for my block swap, and I hope to mail it tomorrow.

Gosh I love purple.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

April Block Swap - Purple Bear's Paw

I joined a block swap this month! Its hosted over at Every month you are paired with another quilter. You make them a quilt block and they make you one. My swap partner this month has the theme "Bear's Paw" blocks. I asked if they had any preference about color choices but they said anything goes! After some internal debate and examination of my stash, I decided to go with this color scheme:

My other option was browns/golds/fall colors, which would of course look incredibly cool but its spring. Or at least, it should be spring. Did you hear that Mother Nature? ITS SPRING! And it seemed like kind of a dreary color scheme for spring. So, purple it is! My sometimes-favorite color. This particular version of the Bear's Paw block can be found over at Quilter's Cache along with instructions for making the block.

And a quick update on Nana's Quilt... its coming along quite nicely and I still love my design wall.

Linking up to Fabric Tuesday over at Quilt Story - please see my sidebar for a permanent link. And check out some of the other great projects on that linky party!