Friday, November 29, 2013

New Loot and My November NewFO

Earlier this month I won a giveaway on QuiltStory (Thanks Heather and Megan!)

Fresh Poppy Design
and it was a $25 gift certificate for Southern Fabric.
I was pretty excited to get a chance to try out a new online fabric shop so I hurried over to their online shop. Let me tell you, they have a lot of beautiful fabric. It is worth noting that the yardage is sold in half-yard increments instead of full yard, so if you pop over there for a look and find something you want, make sure you order the correct amount. Their prices I would say are about average for a quilt shop and they have a very nice discounted/clearance section (I'm a bargain shopper, so that is always the first place I look for fabric).

Here is what I ordered: The Pumpkin Party Layer Cake by Moda. I haven't had an opportunity to play with a lot of precuts and since I've wanted to make a Halloween quilt, I picked up this item. It arrived today. (YAY!) Check out my new loot!

My brand new layer cake
The fabrics in this line, courtesy of Moda
I think the only fabric not included in the layer cake was the large pumpkin one in the center and that was okay, 'cause I don't really like that one anyway. This one will be made into a twister quilt - the other twister quilt I was putting together from scraps I ended up tossing out because I hated it, I mean really hated the color combination. I didn't even finish putting the top together. And no, I don't feel guilty about not wasting my time on something I hated.

This has got to be the ugliest quilt I've ever seen. I made it disappear.
Now onto my November NewFO (Linky on the right)

I have one half of it done and the other half must be done by Christmas since it is a present.

Here is the top half. Now since I'm chronically indecisive and I couldn't actually choose between two panels for this quilt, I decided to make one half the kittens and the backing will be the cheetahs below. This will be a two sided quilt, and I pray that I can get everything lined up when I go to sandwich it.

The border I'm adding to the cheetah side will be a string of brown pinwheels.

There were a lot of extra pieces left over from the rainbow side so I cut all the fabric that was left into 3.5 inch strips and I'll be eventually making a small strip quilt from the mini ninepatches and the fabric strips. All these were from my stash and there really wasn't enough of any one fabric to put back.

I guarantee this quilt will blind the viewer. :)

Well according to my calculations, I've still got two days of my four day weekend to go so hopefully lots more crazy crafty nonsense going on tomorrow.  All my friends are coming over tomorrow to work on Dagorhir projects, so I'll either be working on my Confessor's Dress or a Akron Dragon Tunic. Pics or it didn't happen!

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Fabric Tuesday/WIP Wednesday

I got my sewing machine back, just before the weekend! There was cheering and shouting and look at how shiny it is now.


 It looks almost brand new and sews like a dream. I was told I was well over due for a tune up (I knew that) and that I should bring it in every two years or so.

So this weekend I got myself busy and make a whole bunch of these little 3.5 inch square nine patch blocks

And chained them together

For the border of the kitten panel quilt

I had planned to have it done by now but you know how life goes. I'm hosting Turkey Day this year and so will probably not get a chance to finish it until Friday.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Wasting Time on EQ7

I couldn't take my sewing machine to the fixer yesterday because when I arrived, they were closed due to power outage.

I took my sewing machine in today and was told I couldn't have it back for "about three days."

Hopefully that means that I will have it back in time to use it this weekend. Jack has a Dagorhir event he is planning on attending, leaving me at loose ends to do as I please.

Although this lack of a sewing machine should mean that I'm spending more time writing, I'm actually doing some cleaning and organizing, and of course, playing around with EQ7.

I believe I may have FINALLY after a YEAR of goofing around with it, determined a design for my Penrose square quit. Nope, you can't see it until it is done.

I also made one of these

Which looks amazing in blue also

And playing around with the Baline cross

I think the one with the longer arms looks better.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

My Sewing Machine is Broke

I have to take it to the Sewing Machine Doctor tomorrow. The fabric wasn't feeding straight (its been a chronic problem but seems to be getting worse) so the lovely people over at suggested I check the tension on the foot and make sure the feed dogs are working. So I took it apart and cleaned it again, and dropped the feed dogs and discovered that they no longer raise back up. Sadness. I have no idea currently how long my machine will be in the hospital so...I guess the good news is that I no longer have any excuses to keep me from writing (except video games).

In the meantime, here is the border I've been working on for the kitten panel quilt. It looks black but is actually navy blue to match the panel. 

Saturday, November 16, 2013

NaNoWriMo Graphic of the Day

It's Saturday and I'm 10,000 words behind par this weekend instead of 5,000 like last weekend. Funny thing, every day I don't write I get further behind. Go figure.

Instead of writing I was poking about online and found this graphic on deviantart that describes NaNo to perfection.

Source at DeviantArt
I especially like Day 4, Day 20, Day 23, Day 24, and Day 30.

Enjoy guys, I'm off to try to catch up a little. I'm using Written? Kitten! in full screen browser mode to try to keep myself off the forums.

Friday, November 15, 2013

A Leader-Ender Project

For those of you who don't know what a leader-ender quilt project is, it is exactly as it sound. As you piece a quilt, you have a scrap fabric "leader" to keep the threads neat and from getting tangled as you stitch. An "ender" (Not to be confused with a Wiggin) follows at the end of the chain of stitched quilt blocks.

A lot of quilts use scrap fabric, but some time ago an ingenious quilter came up with the idea that leaders and enders could be part of another project. It could be as simple as sewing together crumbs at the beginning of the chain or, because I'm insatiably ambitious, an Omigosh Quilt.

Omigosh by Sue Garman
As best as I can tell, this quilt originated with Sue Garman. I've included a link to her blog. She loves piecing "teeny tiny" pieces in what she call precision quilting. She named this Omigosh because that is what people said when they saw her working on the quilt.

The quilt consists of two types of blocks - a modified Shoo-fly that is 4.5 inches and a nine patch that is 1.5 inches finished. (I'm still working out the finer details but the pattern can be purchased online.) Yes, that is right. The nine patch blocks are 1.5 inches square, meaning I'm digging into my scrap box and cutting out 1 inch squares to make the blocks. Instead of a white scrappy background, I'm using my favorite black fabric.

Here is a finished block, next to my sewing scissors to give you a sense of scale. As you can see, I need practice with my precision quilting. It is a little crooked, but I'll keep working on it until I can get it right.

At any rate, this will probably take me several years to put together, because it is a leader-ender. One quilter estimated about 4100 individual pieces in this quilt. I'll keep you all updated.

In other news, my November NewFO is this small project. I'll be surrounding the panel with rainbow nine patch blocks and I hope to have it done by Christmas, because it is a present for my niece.

Finished size will be somewhere around 40" by 50", just big enough for an eight-year old to drag around the house.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Paper Pieced Stars Quilt

Sorry to say that this quilt top hasn't acquired a more creative name than Paper Pieced Stars. I could probably call it Stars and Geese or Starry Geese or Goosey Stars but I digress.

I will admit that I'm not going to make my 10,000 word weekend goal. But look at the sewing I've done.

As it stood a few nights ago, when this quilt top is put together, it will only be about 42" square. I really want it to be larger so I started cutting out 2.5" squares from my scrap box and after putting together over 100 half square triangles via chain piecing last night (I love chain piecing), I have the stars for some stars to go on the top and bottom of this quilt.

These will be six inches across, so I will need twelve of them. And much to my dismay, I discovered that I only cut out enough for 9.5 stars. Nope, no idea why I have 9.5 instead of a nice round number like 9 or 10. I will be cutting and piecing the other 36 sometime tonight or tomorrow, I hope. These blocks with the corresponding flying geese will give me a quilt that is 42" x 58" so a couple three inch borders later and I will have a good sized throw quilt.

By the way, I recently stumbled across an episode of Hoarders: Buried Alive and let me tell you, my little messes are MINOR compared to these disasters. Give me an hour in any one room in my house and it will be clean. Its also incentive to get rid of stuff NOW before you have to have a TV show tell you that things are out of control.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

NaNoWriMo Weekend - Saturday Edition 1.0

I've been writing on and off all day but only have ~2,200 words added to my count, giving me a grand total of 12,741 so far. I'm still behind but I'm over 25% of the way there. I don't really think I'm going to make my 10,000 word goal in the next seven hours but I'll keep plugging away at in. In the meantime, I feel like I've been sitting at my computer for far too long and need to give my brain a rest, so I'm off to my sewing room for an hour or so. One episode of Dr. Who while working on a quilt should give me enough recovery time and then I'll get back to the writing.

In the meantime, here is a image from to keep you entertained.

Friday, November 8, 2013

A Weekend of Writing Creatively

Alright everyone, I'm about 5,000 words behind my word count for Nano. All in all, that is not too bad considering. According to my stats, I have to write 1800 words per day until the end of the month in order to keep up. On the days I have been writing, I've done about 2000 a day, so this is completely doable.

However this year, I'd really love to GET AHEAD and since I'm still not going to Dagorhir practice tomorrow due to this nasty bronchitis I'm STILL fighting, I'm going to try to write 10,000 words this weekend. Heck, lets shoot for the next 24 hours. So by 10:00 pm tomorrow, I want to be at 18,000 words total.

I'm going to update this blog frequently this weekend with word count.

Today's word count: 1793
Total: 10,426

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Wordcount Update - The Day I Became a Nano Rebel

Keeping up with Nano, which is to say that I'm behind today's word count. This was in fact by design. I sat down to write and realized that I needed more research. And also, editing. And revising. Yes, I know you aren't *supposed* to edit or revise during Nano but my novel is going is a weird direction and I need to hammer out a few details before I continue. Honestly, even if I only get 25,000 high quality text out of this month, I will be happy.

I was ready to do some editing but have no paper in the house.  I apparently used it all up printing off a quilting pattern. I have no regrets. NONE!

Well, this officially makes me a rebel this year, because I will be working with material already written before November. The novel I'm working on has been a WIP for at least a year. I flirted with it during last Nano and again this summer during CampNano. I won't be word-counting anything written before November, so no worries there.

In other news, did you know that Norway actually has a very temperate climate in the coastal regions? The average low is about 20 degrees F and the summer high in July is around 70. And their third largest city, Trondheim, has about 170,000 people. Tiny compared to cities like New York (8.3 million) or Chicago (2.7 million). Trondheim is built on a fjord and river system that looks a lot like Venice in places. And Hammerfest in the north of Norway has an annual reindeer migration problem. They built a fence around the city, but it isn't helping. On the other hand, knowing that reindeer are prevalent in Norway gives me another food source in an area with minimal arable land.

Go forth and learn something new today!

Friday, November 1, 2013

NaNoWriMo is Here!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

YAY! It is once again time for NaNoWriMo!!!! I'm exciiiited, I'm exciiiiiiiiitteeeeed. Hard to tell, I know.

<--- to the left you can see my brand new nifty word count monitor. I upload my word count to the Nano website and it updates it here for me. I'm ready to go... just waiting on the Starbucks Salted Caramel Mocha that Jack promised to bring me.

See, I even cleaned up my writing area! (sorta).

On the shelf are my reference books. I'm writing about Vikings this year. And there is my favorite mug rug, just waiting anxiously for my coffee. The peanut M&M's will be my 1000 word reward.

The only thing missing is my kleenex box and a bottle of water. Yes, I am still fighting off a cold (and getting annoyed with a coworker who keeps telling me it sounds like I have bronchitis and I should really go to the doctor.)

And I will be studiously ignoring these following projects until I get my word count (1667 words to go) done for the day.

Wish me luck!