I just realized it’s Hip To Piece Square’s birthday today! I’ve somehow made it a year talking about not much more than just quilts and quilting. Are you guys still really still interested in reading about this stuff?? Anyway, here’s to another year of quilt talk! I can’t tell you how much fun it’s been for me to keep this up–I’ve loved getting to know quilters and crafters from all across the country. You all make writing this blog a lot of fun. Thanks to everyone who’s read for the past year, and I look forward to talking to all of you who haven’t posted yet–I love hearing what people think of what I’m doing and what people are doing in their own art.

A quick post otherwise: this past week I took a little break from quilting one day to make my friend, Kate, a little gift. I used wool felt (which I think is just the most fun stuff ever) and put together a little pouch.

orange pouch

It seems like everyone is making these pouches lately, and I thought I try one for myself. I have to say, that little zipper is kinda tricky! I hand stiched it in, and it seemed alright to do. Hopefully it won’t fall apart on her once she gets it though.

And if you aren’t on the receiving end of a wedding quilt by me, click on to see the quilting in progress!

Read More →

Despite having a very busy week last week, I think I can officially say that I’ve caught up. Last night I finished pieceing the last block of the wedding quilt (YAY! No more two inch sqares to piece!) and tonight I’m hoping to finish putting the last six blocks on the rest of the top. All I’ll need is a bit of a border (I’m thinking it’ll look strange, and will possibly be too small without one) and then I get to quilt! So very, very, very exciting!
Another projects that I started and actually finished this weekend were shrinky dink pins.

Shrinky Dink Pins

Again (like many good ideas these days) the pins were inspired by the ones done at Wee Wonderfuls. So many cool things ideas come from there. All I did was make crappy little drawings on the shrinky dinks (I totally love that stuff now–I’ve never played with it before and now I’m hooked!) and then I stuck a pin through it before I put them in the toaster oven. If nothing else really, the look so cool in a pincushion!
In the world of blogs that are not my own, I did want to mention that everyone should go check out Angry Chicken. Amy Karol is a textile artist has the coolest things on her blog. Today’s post featured an amazing log cabin quilt that her mother made. The quilting on it is so unique–it makes it look very different from any other log cabin quilt that I’ve seen, which in my opinion, is a good thing.
Finally, I have to post a picture of the cake my friend Laura made for our crafty girls group birthday party last week.
Knitting Cake

Here’s Alice and Allison posing with their knitting cake–yummy and crafty!

Yep. And I feel like I’ve done very little the past several weeks besides getting my quilt on. It’s not like I haven’t had anything to say either–I’ve just been quilting. A lot.
I’m finally on the last six blocks of Laura and Steve’s Wedding Quilt. I’ve been feeling like I’ve really been hauling on it recently–it seems like it’s taken me no time at all, until I look back and realize that in fact, I’ve been working on it for what is actually forever. I have been trying to really get the piecing finished up soon though–we’re expecting to start a major renovation in our kitchen, hopefully starting at the end of this month, and I’m not sure how much work I’ll be getting done on it when we start that project. No new pictures of it at this point though–it still all looks the same to me. I’ll post a shot of it again when I get the entire top pieced. It’s too hard trying to hide the pictures from those people who are not allowed to see it at this point!
Unexpectedly to me, I’ve also gotten a ton of work done on my Bright Squares Quilt that I started about two or three weekends ago.

Bright Squares Quilt

Despite being a smaller quilt, I have almost the whole top finished! I’m about seven blocks away from having it all finished, but most of those blocks have actually been started. Hopefully another week or two, and I’ll be able to start piecing those blocks together. I’d like to have it finished soon so that I can order the fabric that I love for the back of it:
Disco Dot Fabric

And finally, after seeing all of the really cute pincushions at Wee Wonderfuls, I decided that I had to make one too. This one is for a friend in my Crafty Girls group (that I’m headed off to shortly). For being my first one, I thought it turned out pretty cool!
Flower Pincushion

Okay, I’m going to try this one again. I had a new entry completly finished last night, and then somehow I lost the whole thing. I was not a happy camper. So let’s see what I can remember.
Despite not doing a whole lot of quilting, I did manage to get quite a few crafty projects finished up over the weekend. My making-things rampage started with a shopping trip to JoAnn’s, where I managed to spend the rest of my gift card that my Aunt Claudia gave me for Christmas. I got some green beads, a few frames, a couple of pieces of red fabric (that I’m still not sure what I’m going to do with) some new knitting needles, a knitting magazine, and a few other things too that I can’t remeber at this very minute. I think I had the most fun with the beads. Normally I don’t have the knack to make nice jewelry, but I was pleased with how my first necklace turned out. In fact, I liked it so much I made a second on with red beads I already had:

Red & Green Glass Necklaces

Then I also used one of the pieces of red fabric that I bought to make a needlecase for some of my knitting needles. I had thought about making one awhile ago, but I didn’t think I’d need one until I started going to crafty girl’s night. Now it’s nice to be able to bring all of the needles I think I’ll need along with me, in one place.
Knitting Needle Case

I just took a fat quarter, divided it into thirds, sewed in a bit of extra quilt batting and used some other red fabric that I already had, and it really turned out nice. (I know that wasn’t a great tutorial and all–sorry!) It also got a lot of compliments Monday night at crafty girls group.
Then I also finished up a scarf made out of super bulky yarn that Ben gave me for Christmas. I thought that the two skeins of yarn would be plenty to make a long scarf, but the yarn was so huge that it only came out to be just long enough to wrap once around my neck. It’s still very warm and very pretty though!
Multi-Colored Bulky Yarn Scarf

And then finally, it’s not quite crafty, but gardening is one of my most favorite hobbies. When it’s too cold outside to grow things, I love having my plants inside. This weekend Ben bought me a new Phalenopsis orchid (my most favorite plant of them all!) and so yesterday I had to have a photo shoot with it. I think this was my favorite:
My New Orchid

To me, there’s nothing better than to have a beautiful plant flowering inside your house when it’s cold and snowy outside!

I’m currently on Day 2 of Sicky Week, and I’ve finally mustered up the energy to come sit down and do something semi-productive at the computer. (I stayed home from work yesterday and today with a pretty nasty earache.) Being sick is so frustrating. You’ve got time on your hands, since you can’t go to work, but you feel so lousy that working on projects is like the worst thing you could possibly make yourself do. I’m feeling so bogged down on Christmas projects right now too (and whose fault is that…. SARAH???) and I’ve got to get moving on things. None of it’s been quilting related either.
I think the worst thing that I’ve gotten myself into latley is that I decided that I’d make my own Christmas cards. Let’s talk about how stupid of an idea this has been. There are several large problems going along with this task:
1. I should have started this project last March. I doubt I’ll ever have enough time to finish all that I need to do.
2. It’s not fun at all. Maybe if I were making 10 of them it would be fun, but I have a lot more than 10 people on our Christmas cards list.
3. They look like crap, and I have no idea how to make them look better.
4. I’ve already bought the materials, and if I give up now and go buy store bought cards I’ll feel defeated and lousy that I gave up after buying the supplies.
It’s not just the cards either. I have four more gifts to finish making, including two that go to people at the school, so I’ll have to have them finished by two weeks from tomorrow. That’s really soon! Then there’s the decorations that I’d like to make for my own house, including a pretty good idea for a snowflake garland type thing that I’d really like to get done soon, so that I’m able to use it before the first of the year. It’s stupid that I’m stressed out about projects that I’m making myself do–it’s not like I should have to have any of these things done.
Oh yeah, and there’s a big quilt whose due date is approching closer and closer, and it’s not getting any closer to being finished.
I need to chill out.

My mom called this afternoon after work to tell me that my Granny’s in the hospital, and isn’t going to be feeling up to having the fam up for Thanksgiving. Both sides of the situation are disappointing: having her be in the hospital, and not being able to give her the quilt. Hopefully she’ll be feeling up to having company again in the near future, and I’ll be able to deliver the quilt then. Bummer.
But let’s not be sad, people! I’ve got more project news to report!
I’m halfway done with a Christmas gift that I’m making for the teacher that I work with. I had all the kids in the class sign a canvas bag (one was sick, and I still have to have her sign it, but she’s a bit of a loudmouth tattle-tale, and I’m waiting until the last possible moment for her to sign it so that she doesn’t give the surprise away) and I’m embroidering over their signatures. (There’s nothing cuter than a bunch of first-grade signatures written in bright colored floss.) The first side is finished, and I hope the backside goes as fast as the front did.

Look Mom!  My Name Took Up Almost The Whole Freakin Bag!

October and Halloween has come and gone. I carved my pumpkins,

Pumpkin Carving Central

dressed up like the tooth fairy for a class full of first graders,
Tooth Fairy Wand

(that’s my tooth fairy wand. Thanks for the great costume idea Becka!) and now it’s November. November sucks. No really, it does. I hate the snow that will be coming soon, I hate the cold, and I hate the way it gets dark at approximately 3:30 in the afternoon now. But the one good thing about late fall is that it’s finally the right season to quilt. I’m so close to finishing up Granny’s quilt, that I’m hardly able to control myself. I need to finish it! I think that if I work everyday, I’ll be able to have it done by the end of the week.
Almost Finished

And to prove just how far my nose has been buried in my quilting lately, I didn’t even happen to notice that Craftster has added a new section for people to post just about quilts. I didn’t have a lot of time to look at all the posts, but there were some good quilts posted. I may have to show off this quilt there when I’m finished with it. (I’m such a show off! Is that a bad thing??)

I love it anytime I can finish a project in just a couple of days. My quilts always take so long to do, that it’s almost like a race for me to finish a small project as fast as I can. I bought the materials to make a messenger bag on Friday, and I finished it up late last night. It’s gray corduroy, with wool felt flowers tacked on with buttons. For making it in just over a day, it’s not too bad, and it’s cheaper than any of the other bags that I had been looking at. I only spent about $15 for the materials, instead of $60 for the bag in the store that I liked the best.

Look Mom! I made a bag!

And here’s the details of the flowers:
Button flowers

Now I can take my quilting with me in a semi-stylish bag!