Sunday, December 30, 2012

2012 quiltiness, and what's ahead

2012 was a fantastically busy year... not necessarily at my sewing machine, though!

1. Bubble Trail baby quilt, 2. "Flying Purple People Eater", 3. "Yellow Umbrella" Mini Quilt, 4. Circus Tent mini quilt, 5. "Leaf Pile", 6. Luigi Pillow, 7. Sunset Over Prague Mini Quilt, 8. The Lost Valentine Mug Rug, 9. Black and blue clutch, 10. Pillow cover made for CJMQG swap, 11. Red, brown, white pennant banner, 12. "Always" - Harry Potter Embroidery, 13. Embroidered Hanukkah Dishtowels, 14. Nyan Cat Embroidery, 15. "Siriusly" - Harry Potter Embroidery

My highlights:
  • I was lucky enough to win the Baby Quilt category in the Spring Blogger's Quilt Festival for my Bubble Quilt, "Bubble Trail!" I was so ecstatic to hear! I have yet to make something with my winnings (next year?)
  • In November, I hosted the Sewing Confrontations series. Several people told me it inspired them to try something new, and even if it had only been one person, it made all the planning worth it!
  • I became the webmaster of the Central Jersey Modern Quilt Guild, and have been running the blog since January! Right now we're talking about the MQG Madrona Road Challenge. I'm happy to say I will continue to be the webmaster in 2013, and, pending a vote next week, I'll also be Vice President! We did lots of swaps in our guild and I'm looking forward to more. I've made some great friends in the guild, too! Can't wait for our 2nd full year! I really enjoy our sewing get-togethers, too :) It's so fun to be involved with quilting online AND in the real world.
  • I was participated in the Modernista Homemade Swap (3rd round starts in early January), and I made some wonderful bloggy friends overall. Thank you all for being such friendly and amazing people :)
  • This year I got into embroidery! The projects I've done so far are at the bottom of the mosaic. Now that I have Aneela Hoey's new book, "Little Stitches," I think I'll always have an embroidery project on hand! Not much knitting lately, though. I'm itching to change that.
I also completed several commission t-shirt quilts. They look pretty together, don't they?

Outside of quilty life... like I said, it was BUSY. I graduated from college, we got married, and we moved into our first apartment! And I had a fantastically DIYed fall outdoor wedding :) (which took up much of the first half of the year to plan and make for!) (here are the posts for pre-wedding, ceremony, and reception if you're interested!) Whew!

What you can expect here at Quilty Habit in 2013:
  • A finished quilt by the 2nd week of January! I know, right? I'm excited too :)
  • My first quilt pattern, which will be part of 1 Choice 4 Quilting's book club in March! I'm so excited!! You can even buy a quilt kit to make it :) More soon...
  • Several tutorials, including a winter quilt (in at least three parts) and an HST butterfly block this spring
  • Likely a series on the color purple! More about that soon.
  • Finishing my wedding quilt!
  • I'm thinking about joining a BOM - either at Pile O' Fabric or Gen X Quilters. Or both :) As my friend Rachel has said to me, the worst I could do is waste some fabric...
  • More from Project Color My Apartment!
  • More t-shirt quilts already lined up! Plus, this summer, I'm going to rip my first one apart, add to it, and make it much more durable. I'm already nervous.
  • More geeky sewing (always) (teehee).
Also, in 2013...
  • I'm crossing my fingers for a full-time teaching job this year. Cross your fingers with me, won't you?
  • I'll be traveling more with my husband! We're already roadtripping over Easter break and planning our honeymoon for the summer!
  • Looking forward to a healthy, exercise-full, and happy year. :)
Christmas at Mike's Aunt's house
Happy New Year to everyone, and here's to a very quilty 2013!

Linking up to:


Craft Buds

Lily's Quilts

Friday, December 28, 2012

Sewing for two of my favorite geeks

That is - Christmas presents for my husband and brother!

Luigi Pillow

I finally FINALLY finally (finally) finished my brother's Luigi pillow! Don't look too closely - the seams don't line up the way I wanted them to. But - it was fun to put the whole thing together - this was part of my Sewing Confrontation (you can read more about my challenges here) - but really, I think what I need now is to follow Rebecca's (on the quarter inch seam). I tried so, so hard, but many of those little 1 inch blocks did not line up! If it was for anyone else BUT my brother, I probably would have taken the whole thing apart... again... but I know he doesn't care. And won't even notice. :) So, whew. I'm happy with the way it looks overall though. I'm usually not too much of a perfectionist when it comes to sewing but these rows irked me SO much!

I added a simple envelope back to this 18" pillow. Also, if you haven't seen it, go check out the Flickr group for the Super Mario Brothers QAL - it just finished and there are some beautifully geeky quilts! (Oh, and my brother loved the pillow - he doesn't like to give me compliments but said it was "pretty cool" - lol!)

Nyan Cat Embroidery
Also I worked on this little Nyan Cat embroidery (yes, that is a poptart) for a few weeks before Christmas (whenever I had time and wasn't with the husband - overall, it really didn't take that long!) It is my own design, based on the infamous Nyan Cat video. If you haven't seen it, well, it's time to watch the internet sensation!

The hubby loves all things Nyan Cat, and I'm planning on many geeky embroideries to come, so I thought I'd start out with the cat. (P.S. Have you seen the AMAZING Nyan Cat quilt from my friend Connie at Freemotion by the River?) I have so many geeky gift ideas to pick and choose from over the next couple of years... what will they get next? I'm thinking TARDIS embroidery for our wall... maybe a WHOLE WALL of geektastic embroideries... =D

Linking up to Fabric Tuesday at Quilt Story.

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Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Christmas Sewing Goodies

Christmas was wonderful, and we are very lucky to have beautiful, giving families. So... much... food and lots of fun, including my family's annual viewing of The Muppet Christmas Carol (best Christmas movie ever!) :) Mike and I made french toast and hung out all morning, and when we got back from house-hopping, we chilled out and watched another episode of Doctor Who (the famous episode "Blink," for any fans out there).

I was so lucky to get pretty much everything I had hinted about, including:

Pearl Bracelets by Lizzy House from the husband! Plus, two 1-yard cuts of the purple pearl bracelets to add to my crazy purple obsession =)

And... two books I am literally (okay, maybe not literally) (figuratively?) jumping off the walls about:

I have so many projects right now but I'm dying to make that cover quilt on Modern Patchwork...
How was your Christmas? Did you receive any sewing goodies?

Monday, December 24, 2012

'Twas the night before Christmas

And all through the house apartment
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse stuffed tiger

The stockings were hung by the chimney with care Didn't get the chance to make stockings, or a Christmas tree skirt, or runner... next year!

In the hopes that St. Nicholas soon will be there there will be a Pearl Bracelet bundle under this tree!

 I'll be spending the next two days with both families, and the husband and I will be spending some time together for our first married Christmas!

My favorite ornaments :) I collect the Precious Moment Disney collection - hopefully this year's is coming my way, too!

Merry Christmas, and have a wonderful time with your families!

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Merry Christmas Eve Eve!

This week has been entirely consumed with finishing two commissions and last minute Christmas sewing (some of which I still have to finish tomorrow!) I can share just one present right now - a clutch I made for my best friend.

After receiving her wedding clutch, which she uses every day (doesn't it just make you so happy to hear that someone is using something you made?!?), she requested solid colors that are more "her." I was only too happy to help. I used the fabulous gathered clutch tutorial from Noodlehead. This is my go-to clutch tutorial, but I always add in a strap and a pretty rolled fabric flower.
I messed up the credit card slots on the first try - I didn't realize they would be too close to the edges, and thus, that you couldn't reach them within the limits of the zipper. I tore part of it apart and tried again. She might have to wiggle a bit but they work now! Plus, there are 4 instead of the usual 2.

I also added a cute polka dotted pocket to the other lining piece. I always need another pocket, and since we're best friends, it's probably safe to say that she's the same way :)
(That's just a nickname we have - it's actually a long story!)

I've been wrapping my presents using these rolls of washi tape and cute gift tags that I won during the Sew, Mama, Sew giveaway, from Downtown Tape. They sent me their favorite rolls, several of which are Christmas colors. I'll be able to use them for years because there's so much tape!

So much handmade goodness. I'm in love!

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Monday, December 17, 2012

Birthday Fabric and a Winner

When I went to the December meeting of the Central Jersey MQG, I picked up some fabric that I've been eyeing for a while with my birthday coupon... Simply Color in purple and gray.

Those Orla Kiely-like fabrics make me weak in the knees. Haha... but seriously, I can't wait to cut into them!

Next, our guild is participating in the Modern Quilt Guild's Madrona Road Challenge, so we received fat 1/8th bundles. How pretty are these fabrics? The inspiration for my project hasn't hit yet - but I'm in the midst of the Christmas rush, so hopefully next week, when I have some time off, I'll be inspired. I like to let ideas come to me, and they always do... eventually.

Also, for next month's meeting, we are making handmade gifts for another guild member. I received my partner's likes and dislikes, and luckily I have a lot of freedom! I'll be starting that soon, too. Busy, busy!

Thanks so much to everyone who entered the Quilting Gallery giveaway, and to all those of you who are new, you made my week! It was fun to read about everyone's birthday happenings. Although a fair amount of people don't remember what they did on their birthdays, most people went out to dinner, and luckily, there was much cake involved :)

And the winner is...

Congrats, Alison! I've emailed you, and I'll get your Make Life charms out to you this week!

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Hanukkah and Dish Towels

Tonight I celebrated Hanukkah with my family. It's the last night already! I am half Jewish and grew up celebrating both Christmas and Hanukkah in December (well, sometimes, Hanukkah starts in November, like next year!)

Since this is my first holiday season as a working adult and as a married woman, I figured it was time to give Hanukkah gifts to my aunt, uncles, and grandparents. Usually the gift exchange is mostly for the kids. I really don't have a lot of money to spend on gifts this year - and I wanted to give them something meaningful - so I came up with these decorative dish towels (plus, I'll admit that I wanted an excuse to embroider).

I bought some flour sack towels in a pack of 4 from Target, and cut them to a general dish towel size (using those in my kitchen as a guide). Then sewed on the strip of Hanukkah fabric with some interfacing, using a zig zag stitch (I have most of the yard of fabric left - I'll probably use it for next year's presents, too, so don't be surprised if/when you see it again!). I came up with a little pattern for the menorah and embroidered each towel. I need to make one for myself but I just ran out of time! I literally finished stitching the last one right before bed last night, and wrapped them before we left today. They were a big hit and we had a great, chocolate-filled night!
Happy Hanukkah!
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Saturday, December 15, 2012

Sending love to Connecticut

I don't have my own children yet, but sometimes I feel like I have them. 200, to be exact. I am a substitute and aftercare teacher, who works with at least 50 different children every day and has gotten to know almost everyone in the school I work at. I really, truly love my job - even though its not full time yet, it's full time hours, and I get to work with kids all day, every day. I'm so grateful.

That's why yesterday hurt so badly. I didn't know what happened until after I had gotten out of aftercare. We actually had a lockdown drill in the afternoon, which I realize now must have been a response to what was happening in Connecticut. As a teacher and a human being, I'm shocked, and my heart hurts for everyone associated with the school. I try to keep my blog a positive place, but today, I just needed to say this. I'm sending my love to CT today.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Project Color My Apartment: Bathroom

*Quilting Gallery Giveaway here- open until Dec. 17*
I'm no interior designer, nor do I pretend to be an expert on color (I'm just a humble quilter and fabric lover), but Project Color My Apartment is my attempt to brighten up my all-white apartment without painting the walls. Periodically, I post suggestions for adding color to a relatively color-less place (white IS a color, after all), and include updates about my attempts to lessen my frustrations!

It was time to tackle my tiny bathroom (dun, dun, dun). My bathroom is... yellow. VERY yellow. The bathtub. The counter. The tile walls. And usually, I'm not really upset about yellow. But this is a kind of pale, sickly yellow, and to me, there's just too much of it!

So, the first thing I did was balance it all out with some gray. I got the lovely gray shower curtain from Target (where would I be without Target), and the hubby approved! It's very Ty Pennington Impressions to me. I could have made a shower curtain, but really, I didn't have time. We needed that at the very beginning, when we moved in September. I also added a comfy (it really is comfy) bathmat and some gray towels. Score.

But something was missing... so I made a mini quilt, which I've lovingly titled "Yellow Umbrella" (if you can guess the reference to one of my favorite shows, you get 1,000 points, which don't really matter... and that's another reference) (let me know in the comments if you get one and/or both :))

I LOVED sewing triangles - it was super easy. I just used my ruler markings for 60 degrees and cut away. You can see the tutorial I followed at Magnolia Bay Quilts (though I didn't cut triangles of all sizes). And, no one will see the back, ever, but I backed it with natural colored muslin. I love how you can see the hand-quilting.

One important color discrepancy: yellows. The yellows from Lotta Janslotter's "Bella" are so pretty - how could I not use them? Plus, there are some lovely grays, which I needed to balance out those crazy yellows in my bathroom. However, I also love Pearl Bracelets by Lizzy House, and how could I not use them? The Pearl Bracelet yellow is slighty darker, while in certain light, "Bella" comes out more neon, but like I said to my guild when I showed them: "It's my bathroom and I did what I want to!"

I may add something small to the other wall - we'll see.


I'll definitely be adding more triangles to my apartment next year, for sure! Officially addicted.

Linking up to Fabric Tuesday at Quilt Story.

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Sunday, December 9, 2012

Quilting Gallery Giveaway!

Lots of giveaways lately! Today, we're celebrating the 5th birthday of the Quilting Gallery, which was one of my first resources when I started sewing 2.5 years ago. Soooo... Happy Birthday, Quilting Gallery!

Blog Hop Party
If you're new here, hi, I'm Jess, and I'm a modern quilter who has a huge attachment to purple (and rainbow) color schemes and likes to dive into new projects :) I'm the webmaster (and possibly soon to be VP!) of the Central Jersey Modern Quilt Guild. I just finished up my Sewing Confrontations series and started Project Color My Apartment. You'll also find some tutorials around here, like my fabric bulletin board and my newest, the fabric scrap Christmas tree.
I just started a tutorial for a winter quilt (coming in January), and I'm planning a collaboration with another blogger early next year. I hope you'll poke around and stick around if you're so inclined!
I'm giving away some of my precut stash - 44 squares of Make Life by Sweetwater. I had two charm packs and used about one of them - but this custom charm pack I'm giving away has all of the squares I haven't used. Here's just some of them!
My favorite fabrics of the bunch - I love all the little sayings!
This giveaway is open to anyone in the world, and will end at 11 pm on Monday, December 17, which is my birthday! To enter, tell me what you did on your birthday this year! Or, if you happen to have been born in this last month, like me, tell me what you're going to do. I'm working, going to my little sister's concert, hopefully having some ice cream cake with my family, and, oh yeah, picking a giveaway winner! 

Click here to see all of the other giveaways! Thanks for hosting, Michele!


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