Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Hung up on numbers - a giveaway

Have you ever posted something to the internet, say a blog or a picture, and watched the visits tick up? It's a lot of fun, trust me! For some reason, my flickr site jumped by 40 visits in one day and then held on at 999 views. (Maybe if I had a pro account, I would be able to see where the traffic is coming from, but I haven't spent the money on it, yet.) This morning, it tripped over the lip!
Woohoo! I love that my items and views are both nice, round numbers.

Since milestone ought to be celebrated, I've decided to giveaway 3 FQs from my own ample stash.
To enter the giveaway, become a follower of this blog or answer the following questions:
  1. What numbers do you like to watch? (A timer counting down? A ticker counting up? The scale counting down? An advent calendar?)
  2. What is your favorite color? ("Blue. No, yel...AAAAAAAaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhh!" - Name the film, if you like.)
Followers will be given one entry and commenters another, so if you're both, your chances are doubled!

I will pick an entry at random Sunday evening. The giveaway is closed and a winner will be posted momentarily.

-Good luck and good sewing!

Monday, August 29, 2011

Cabin craft

I had the best weekend! It all started Friday night when the fam and I went to a midnight showing of Star Trek: The Wrath of Khan.
Hello, man-cleavage!
That's right, the movie from 1982. It was preceded by the original series episode Space Seed in which Khan first appeared. The small audience laughed throughout the episode at the lines and silly acting. The movie has held up after all these years; better acting than the original show, but still campy, and it didn't give me nightmares this time around. (Imagine seeing the scene with the desert creature crawling into/out of Chekov's ear at 8, as I was the first time I saw this movie. Nightmares of earwigs - which we had in my house - crawling into my ear bothered me for a long time afterward.)

Then, I spent a lovely weekend with friends and family at a lake cabin. We had nice weather the whole time and the most beautiful sky I've seen in a while.

We adults sat around chatting and blowing my diet for the weekend while the kids played in the water and tried to get inside to play on game consoles. After visiting for a few hours, I worked on my Kona Solids Challenge quilt, a couple of quilting bee blocks, and a UFO-no-more!

Since I didn't have my design wall handy up there, I simply added my one solid to the Kona charm pack, and created half-square triangles, per our guild's challenge rules. I'll work on layout this week.
Kona Solids Challenge

The watermelon-themed virtual quilting bee blocks were fairly quick and completed just in the nick of time! I'll get them in the mail to our queen bee today.
Bee-ing Green August block 1  Bee-ing Green August block 2
Also on the machine/design wall this week will be the completion of a year-long UFO: B2.
B2(squared) block 1 B2(squared) block 2
I have a tutorial in the works (hoping to get that written in the next few weeks), a thread test to conduct and tell you about, a 14-year-old's room to help clean and organize so she'll have a fresh start for high school, back-to-school shopping to do, the Great Minnesota Get-Together to attend, and did I mention I'm trying to lose weight?!

Busy, busy, busy!

Monday, August 22, 2011

Busy, busy, busy!

I finished up Caribbean Queen just over a week ago, but have been very busy and haven't had a chance to show her to you until now.
Caribbean Queen complete front
Isn't she lovely? The picture is a little washed out because it was so darned bright the day I took it, but the other pic I took doesn't give you a sense of the whole thing.
Caribbean Queen complete front
My favorite part of the whole quilt has got to be the binding. As I was quilting, I thought, what colors say "Caribbean" to me? Blue, green, and, of course, coral!
Caribbean Queen complete binding detail
She's happily ensconsed on my bed, now, and I've moved on to reason number 1 that I'm busy: a new commission! My client "stole" a third of a yard of fabric from an expectant mother who fell in love with Amy Butler's Sun Spots, but didn't know what she was going to do with it. I've incorporated it into the design my client chose for her; a pic she'd seen on Flickr that I was able to work the design out on.
modern baby
Please excuse the blurry pic taken in poor light on my phone. It's really a lovely quilt. I was able to finish the top, piece a back, baste and quilt it all this weekend. All I need to do is attach the binding, sign it and send it through the wash.

The second reason I've been so busy (other than my day job) is I thought it would be fun to have friends over for brunch. I put together an Evite and was a little disappointed that more people didn't show on the 14th. Duh. I clicked on the 21st when I put the Evite together. This Sunday, Brunch 2.0 was a hit! We had crepes and lots of fun conversations.

I think I need to get out of my quilting room a bit more. With TWO finishes this month, I'll be ahead on my 12 in '11 goal, so maybe I'll be able to see more friends.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Pay it Forward

Did any of you agree to take part in a Pay it Forward challenge earlier this year? I did! If you're not familiar with the concept, you sign up to receive something handmade from one of your friends and in exchange, you agree to make something handmade for 5 of your friends who sign up and agree...

Last week, I sent my first Pay it Forward project and it was received yesterday, so I can talk about it now. Allow me to introduce Breaking Free.
Breaking Free complete
click through to see more pictures, including quilting detail shots
I designed this piece for a friend of the family who is going through cancer treatment. She was never far from my thoughts the entire time I worked on it. I hope she could/can feel the positive energy.

You've likely seen the circle of geese that inspired this design somewhere in the netiverse.
Bee-ing Green July 2011
proud geese
I wanted to really emphasize breaking out, so I mirrored the last block during piecing. The gradation of the geese from grey to saturated pink highlights the journey from illness to health.

On a completely different note, is anyone else dreaming of fall (other than my mom - Hi, Mom!)? I swear to you, I was fantasizing yesterday about cool temps, dewy grass, smells of soup bubbling and goodies baking, and working on a quilt without wanting to rip off all my clothes because my sewing room is bloody hot, thank you very much. Walking out the door to work this morning was like my daydream come true. It was nearly chilly! Fall is my absolute favorite time of year. As far as I'm concerned, it could last 9 months.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Quilting habits

I now have a whopping 7 followers (woohoo! that's more than double the last time I checked), but you don't seem to comment much, so I thought I'd pose a question (with some subquestions):

What are your quilting habits?
  1. Do you go on a sewing binge on the weekends or do you sew a little bit every night, even after work?
  2. Do you let projects lie fallow until you're jolted with inspiration or do you work away at one until you're done?
  3. Do you have several up in the air and work on whichever one is your favorite at that point in time?
  4. Do you sip tea, coffee, water, wine, or even beer while you work?

I want to learn all about you! To be fair, here are my answers:
  1. I binge sew on the weekends, but still try to stitch at least a couple of nights during the week after work, especially if I'm excited about a project.
  2. I'm a definite inspiration type. I've left a top folded in my closet for a year until I was inspired for the back (I piece them, too, and make them nearly double-sided).
  3. I have several projects in the works, all at varying degrees of done-ness. There's only one I would call a UFO, at least two tops completed and waiting for backs, one top and back complete, but not basted, and three or more with blocks made, but not joined, yet. That doesn't include the two that are basted and in the process of being quilted or the ones for which I've made sketches, but haven't started cutting. Don't ask me about the hand quilting projects gathering dust. Since I discovered machine quilting, there was no looking back!
  4. Yes. I have coffee if it's morning (but only unleaded because the mean, mean neurologist told me I had to quit caffeine), tea if I want something warm but low in acidity, and water if I just feel like I need water. I've also found that I lossen up a bit if enjoying a glass of wine or bottle of good, hoppy beer while quilting. The mistakes don't bother me as much, and I think that's a good thing! No one will notice them later unless I point them out.
Since I don't think any post should be without a picture or two, let me show you what I'm currently quilting.
Caribbean Dream basted
Caribbean Dream back
You may recognize this quilt from a previous post. :) I keep changing the name, but think I've settled on Caribbean Queen, since Billy Ocean keeps singing in my head as I work on her.

I started quilting her a couple of weeks ago, but wasn't happy with how it was going, so spent at least 10 times as long (blerg) ripping out all the stitches. I went in a different direction and am very happy with how it's coming. (I'll save that for another post.)

I can't wait to learn all about you and your addiction quilting.