Wednesday, June 27, 2012

"I'm ready for my closeup"

...says my sewing machine. She (he? I don't actually have a name) finally has a cover, designed by yours truly!

I paper pieced Lark hexagons over time, whenever I was babysitting or sitting around watching something on TV (but usually if I have free time at home I'm at my sewing machine, so that doesn't actually happen all that much!)

I love how the dotted binding (I believe it is Michael Miller's Ta Dot) brings it all together!

Then, I added this pretty turquoise fabric from my stash and practiced some more hand quilting with embroidery floss. I am really pleased with the result! I definitely want to keep incorporating hand quilting into my work - I get better every time.

Now it's all tied up covering my machine, protecting it from any dust/dirt/stink bugs that may inevitably get into the dining sewing room.

The quilting makes the second row of hexagons from the top and bottom pop out! I didn't intend for an optical illusion but when I saw that, I decided to stop quilting the middle and work more on the ends.

Ironically, I'm going to get a new sewing machine next month (crossing my fingers) - so I guess I'll have to make anothhhhhher cover... :)

(P.S. Thanks for all the feedback on the wedding clutches - I'm going to go out and get the little safety pins with the flat backs so that my girls can use the flowers on their purses and stuff - I know I want to! I can't wait to show you the wedding pictures in a few months!)

Linking up with Fabric Tuesday and We Did It Wednesday.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Wedding clutches!

This is the only picture I will post online of the clutches I am making my bridesmaids/maids of honor (and myself) for my very purple, fall wedding (THREE MONTHS!!!)!

I spent all day finishing them and I am soooo happy with the way they came out. I used one of my favorite tutorials from noodlehead.

In progress!

I need help, though! How would you suggest attaching little hand rolled flowers to the fronts? I don't think it will look good hand sewn. Hot glue...? Any suggestions? Here's a picture of my clutch (I don't have a problem showing you that because a) it's not a surprise for me and b) it's a bad quality night shot):

The next few days are beyond busy for me. I'm babysitting for ten hours tomorrow, and three hours on Tuesday, but then I'm heading to New York to see the show "Once" with my former professor and will hopefully celebrate a job offer! (*huge knock on wood*)
See you later in the week! Please leave suggestions for the flowers if you have any :)

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Chain piecing is good for the soul

I've only been sewing for two years. Until now, whenever I saw someone in blogland talking about how awesome chain piecing was, I didn't really understand how to do it. But it really was just too easy. :)

Don't mind the crazy hair
Can you guess what I'm making? (it might not be too difficult, on second thought!)

Linked to:
WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

In addition, my fabric bulletin board tutorial has been featured at Fave Quilts! Woo!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

It's starting to look like I'm opening a fabric shop...

Check out what's been entering my house the past month. Most of this was for specific projects, and no, I am not wealthy at all, I shopped a lot of sales! I can't even call myself a poor college student anymore... but I can say poor college grad, lol.

Winnings from the Blogger's Quilt Festival!! Thanks Fabricworm!

Purples and poppies, oh my... and this included some fabric (the second one in) from Kingdom, a collection from my friend and the President of the Central Jersey Modern Quilt Guild, Jessica Levitt (it was kind of strange for me, buying her fabric!).

Pearl Bracelets by Lizzy House<3 (from Fresh Modern Fabrics). I could not resist. I finally caved. This is not specifically for a project and, to quote Joey Tribiani (at 23 seconds):

Ta Dot in all kinds of awesome colors! I already have fabric lanyards in the bottom two fabrics in my shop.

Cocoon from the Intrepid Thread (one of my favorite places to shop!)

Aaand I just realized... that's not even everything. Got some red fillers (including chevrons), and Little Apples yardage to finish that quilt... and some random yardage... oh goodness, this is actually pretty embarrassing. I'm embarrassed.

So... I will have more posts soon with these fabrics and more in action! I seriously am working on about 10 projects at once right now, so I'll probably finish them all around the same time too, funnily enough. I like to work on what I'm inspired to work on for the day. :)

Friday, June 15, 2012

Quilty Habit #4: Rushing through the Quilting Process

Maybe it's because I grew up in and live in the northeast of the U.S. - notoriously affectionately known for our fast pace - or maybe it's because I'm an impatient person by nature, but every time I start a sewing project, I rush to get certain things done. Like, free motion quilting. It's really really really (really) hard for me to keep a steady, slow pace, which always makes my stitches uneven. I'm getting better though. I also tend to rush through the cutting process at times, which has unfortunately resorted in several finger/hand cuts (one especially serious one that I probably should have gotten stitches for) (never fear, I'm much more careful after that incident last summer).

I sound like a real fun person to be around, don't I? ;)

The point is, I rush. Especially to get a project done. When I'm more than excited to see the final outcome.

But really - today was a day to rush. I was trying to finish a bunch of lanyards and key fobs for a craft fair tomorrow. I was taking the stitches out of a key fob because I messed up slightly (probably by going too fast) (even though I was trying to go slow because I care so much about how it looks to the customer), and I was ripping stitches pretty fast.

I was pretty proud of myself, being so successful and singing along to the Backstreet Boys - who recently have been my #1 choice of background music. And then, this happened.

I broke my seam ripper... because I was going too fast... it looks just like a broken machine needle...

I was so mad! I need a seam ripper, because not only is it my best friend and we are in contact more often than I actually sew, but because I had many more things to sew, and there was NO WAY that I wouldn't have something else to rip :)

Luckily, I found my little seam ripper. It'll do for now until I get to the store tomorrow.

Anyway, *sigh*. I really do have confidence in my sewing abilities but sometimes you've just gotta get stuff done, for lack of a better phrase!

Do you rush through the sewing/quilting process, too?

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Christmas in July @ Sew Festive Handmade

My quilty bloggy friend Rebecca (who is just fantastically awesome, really) is organizing and hosting an event on her blog, Sew Festive Handmade!

  Sew Festive Handmade

We all get so caught up in our projects for the year that we sometime forget that a) holiday projects are on the horizon and should be started (or finished) and b) that the holidays really are only 6 months away (I just had this unfortunate realization a couple of days ago). Don't mind me - I love love love fall and winter, but the holiday hoopla gets so crazy sometimes! I DO love the holidays though, I really do! :)

Rebecca asked some of her bloggy friends to write up tutorials for handmade Christmas projects. I've started planning mine out; and look, I'm on the first day!

July 2: Rebecca and ME!
July 9: Jessica from Make Me Crafty and Chelsea from Pins and Bobbins
July 16: Kelsey from Kelsey Sews and Rebecca
July 23: Jennifer from Knotted Thread and Katie from There and Back
July 30: up your finished holiday projects (either from the tutorials or not) to share and win some prizes (check 'em out HERE) <-- there's a giveaway going on!
As you can see, tutorials will be posted every Monday in July, except that last one. Plenty of inspiration though! I hope you'll join us!

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Starting a new quilt - with Mom

In the two years that I have been quilting, I've made lots of quilts for people - but not one for my mom yet. Mom decided she wants a nice big quilt for her king bed (don't tell her, but I don't think it's going to end up quite that big) (well maybe) (with a big enough border), and that she wants to help.
We decided on Impressions fabric by Ty Pennington - I love every single version of this line! We are pairing it with some choice Kona solids (used my Kona card) :)

Then, we picked Rebecca's pattern (she blogs over at Chasing Cottons and sells her patterns). I LOVE this pattern ("Curlicue Crush"), although I'm starting to get nervous about all those curves.

(photo taken from the Chasing Cottons shop)

Now, we have hundreds of little pieces to cut (and sew, soon... gulp). Here's mom in action:

This week is going to be full of lots of teaching. This weekend, I'm teaching my friend Kristina how to sandwich a quilt together, baste, quilt, and bind (though I don't think we'll get through it all in one day).

It's nice to sew with other people :) Nicer than I thought, at least!

Monday, June 4, 2012

New weekly post - Modern Mondays (at CJMQG)

As you may or may not know, I am the webmaster for the Central Jersey Modern Quilt Guild! We are a new guild (started in January of this year) and I've started to develop our blog a bit more.

Every week on Monday, I'll put up a "Modern Monday" post, to recap what is going on in the modern quilt blog world (contests, flickr inspiration, etc.) If you're interested, you can check it out here (the first post). If you have any suggestions or categories that you'd like to see, please comment! Thanks!
P.S. I have several posts planned for this week on Quilty Habit - yay!

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Thank you, mail day, and a sneaky peek

Thank you to everyone who voted in the Blogger's Quilt Festival - I was stunned and humbled to find out yesterday that I won in the baby quilt category. Like I said before, it was so difficult to choose for each category, and it is amazing to think about all of the work that was put into the 600 or so quilts in the entire show. Thank you again for your votes! I am happy awaiting a fabric bundle... :)

Speaking of mail, I got fabric mail yesterday! It was sad to hear about Wondrous Woven Fabrics closing, but they are having a big sale to clear out inventory (though I'm not sure how much is actually left). I was able to get some really great yard and half yard cuts of fabric at an awesome price (about $5 a yard):

Top right clockwise: 2 Summer House prints, Loulouthi, unknown fall print, Impressions

Haven't used any yet this week, but I think those Summer House cuts will look especially cute in a little boy's quilt. I definitely want to get started on more baby quilts this summer, so we'll see.

Finally, I've still been working on a lot of random projects (more soon), but here's a sneaky peek of what my wedding quilt looks like right now... this baby won't be done until early next year (I'm forseeing) so this will be the last picture for a while!

Going to the beach tomorrow to celebrate my friend's 24th birthday :) I hope everyone has a restful Sunday!


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