Thursday, December 18, 2008

Happy 1 Week 'Til Christmas!

Things have been very, very busy around here. Most of which I can't post about or just haven't had time to post about.

My big project is in the final finishing stages .... I'm on the last side! Unforunately, that's all the info I can reveal. If you have other blogs on your list, you've seen it. Otherwise it'll be posted here after Christmas. Not taking chance on this one.

I took yesterday off of work to bake cookies. My dance teacher hosts a cookie swap party each year and it's tonight. I had 10 dozen cookies to bake and decorate, so that's what I did yesterday. I also started and finished a quilted wall hanging for her from a pre-printed panel kit I picked up at Keepsake Quilting. Yesterday was very busy.

Apparently my heat also decided to crap out yesterday too - I must not have noticed initially because of all the baking, but when I went to bed, I saw that the temp was a good 15 degrees below what I had it set for .... I thought maybe it still hadn't kicked on because of the oven, so I gave it til this morning and called my complex's maintenace. A couple hours later, it was all fixed and I was able to head off to work. Oh heat, how I love you!

So what's left then, as the final panicky countdown to the big day speeds on?

Finishing an ornament wreath in pink and purple for a coworker
Finished aforementioned "big project" in first paragraph
Possibly try to finish a project for my mom, but thta's not a huge deal - I managed to pick up more for her through the year than I thought and when I pull it all off of the "present shelf" I was surprised. So that can be rainchecked for her birthday if need be.

I also have to make my friend Eren's presents, but I won't see her until the weekend of January 3rd, so that buys me some time.

I have a busy weekend ahead of me as well, I have plans Saturday night to go out with some people from work as kind of a going away party for a coworker who is also a good friend and then on Sunday I'm going to see the Trans-Siberian Orchestra with the guy I'm seeing. I'll probably end up with plans on Friday as well. Busy, Busy, Busy!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Hanging in there ...

Apparently I only blog once a month now ..... sorry! Work is just now winding down to the point where I'm only working 40 or so hours a week and I've been feverishly sewing on a top secret Christmas project in my "free time" I am please to report that the sewing is complete and boxed up and will be on it's way to Sharon for some quilting :) I can't post pictures because I don't want to risk the intended receiver coming across them. That'll have to wait til after Christmas I'm afraid!

I did start cutting out my next project - a small wallhanging for my dance teacher from the Scottie Christmas line. Highland dance teacher + scotties = good idea!

I have a few things left to make for my mom's Christmas present and have to start in on my friend Eren's. Eren and I made a deal that we would buy for birthdays and make for Christmas - so I stil have a lot of work ahead of me! I'm also trying to clean out things and eBay to try to bring in some extra money to go towards bills, so life is keeping me running for the moment.

Hope all of you are well!


Friday, October 10, 2008

Another year older ...

Well, my birthday was yesterday - the big 2-5. Here's hoping that this is the year for cheap car insurance! I'm on the phone right now to see if my rate will go down *fingers crossed*

Other than that, I've just been working. A LOT. Very long hours means not much time for quilting or much of anything else unfortunately. Hopefully as things begin to wind down in November I can have some more time to work on the fun stuff.

In turn, no time for fun equals no pictures, though I'm getting my hair cut this afternoon, so maybe I'll take a picture of that!

Monday, September 29, 2008

The down side ...

Wow - where have I been, huh?

When I last left off I was on cloud nine over the bag swap, but alluded to some bad news. I've been having computer problems not of my own doing. If you know someone living in an apartment complex, please pass this on.

The memory was stolen out of my laptop. I started having computer problems immediately after maintenance had been in my apartment and couldn't figure out why. I waited until the weekend and took it to my parents house. My dad is extremely computer knowledgeable - has even built his own computers - and when he opened the memory compartment, there was nothing there. Just the memory that was sodered to the motherboard. What's more is that there are 2 little metal clips that hold the removeable memory in place. One was damaged by whoever stole my memory and now won't hold the new memory securely in place so my computer still doesn't function correctly. The only person other than me who had been in that apartment was maintenance. I spoke with the complex, they assured me that their maintenance staff wasn't smart enough to know how to turn on a computer (pretty much her exact words) and told me to file a police report. I filed the report, but they weren't going to finger print the computer or anything since this was a low price point crime. (tell that to my bank account)

So I'm trying to tell everyone I can - and hopefully other people can avoid having this happen to them. If you're in a complex, don't leave anything out even though it's technically your "home" - don't ever allow maintenance in if you or a designated person are also present. My dad came the next weekend and installed a new locking door knob for me, so I'm feeling a bit more secure, but talk about feeling violated. They are also loaning me one of their desktops so I do have a computer and internet again, but will probably need to see if my renter's insurance can do anything for me because I definitely can't afford a new laptop right now.

In other news, I fell down the stairs at my apartment complex on Friday (their stairs have raised metal edges to keep the carpet from fraying and my shoe got caught) My left shin is bruised literally along the entire length and I have a smaller bruise on my right shin. They're still surfacing ... once they get dark I'll take a picture and post ....

Let's hope this week is a better one ... though my work schedule is crappy.

Sorry I haven't been around much - now that the desktop is set up I should be able to do more.


Friday, September 19, 2008

Annie received her swap package!

Well, I can now say that my partner was Annie from Australia. She has received her box o' goodies and posted about them on her blog - go check it out and look at her beautiful cat too! She also has gorgeous pictures of her garden and projects, so take a look around her blog

Linda organized a wonderful swap and it's really neat to see all the postings start going up as the bags are arriving.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Now arriving from England ...

My item from the bag swap!!! My parcel took the long trip from England to make it to my mailbox here in Michigan.

Look! A squishy package!

Zoe checks things out too ... can't be too safe!

Alright - looks like you've got everything out! All clear!

Voila!!! My gorgeous bag from Marianne - the pictures totally don't do it justice either, it's amazing!

But wait, there's more! What could it be?

SOCKS!!!! Fancy socks!

And some Jelly Bellies tucked into the zipper pocket ... yeah, I already ate those ...

And take a look at the lining - totally loving those funky cats :)

And of course, modeling the awesome socks.

Zoe was quite thrilled with the tissue paper Marianne used to wrap everything in and promptly claimed it as her own ... she's actually currently napping on it right now ... so,big thanks from Zoe too!

So, I totally got a bag that is perfect for me - thank you Marianne! And everyone should be jealous, cause the bag and socks are incredible. Stop by Marianne's blog to say hello
Sorry it took so long for me to get the pictures up, I had computer problems that started last week and just got remedied yesterday. I will post about that tomorrow, because what happened to me shouldn't happen to anyone and I definitely need to get the info out there ... but we're not going to ruin a happy post with something like that ...
Thanks Marianne! You're the best!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

on it's way ....

I did it! I got everything completed for the swap and it went out in the mail this morning. It cost me an obnoxious amount of money to mail, which was a surprise, but I guess it does have to make it across an ocean to reach it's destination and all .... it should arrive in "6-10" days. Now the nervous hand wringing begins .... I do hope she likes it!

I'm not posting a pic here for 2 reasons: 1, I don't want her to stumble on it and see it before it arrives and 2, my computer at home completely died. So, no pictures of any kind for a while. If my dad can't fix it, it sounds like I'll be able to borrow one of their computers. If that doesn't happen, then I won't have a computer at home for a very, very long time. There just isn't that kind of extra money in the budget. I'm barely making ends meet right now as it is.

But it's done and I fulfilled my obligation BEFORE the deadline. I loved being in the swap and can't wait to see my package from Loopy :) but it'll be a while before I can participate in another one. I'm going into the busiest time of the year at work and it'll take a while before I have the funds to be able to do it right! Now I've got to go email my partner and the swap organizer that the package is off and running ....

Hopefully I'll be more cheerful and have better news after the weekend ...

Monday, September 8, 2008


Well .... there comes a point where you have to ask "What else can go wrong?" Needless to say things are precariously hanging on by a thread around here.

On the good side, my bag swap items are complete, I just have to mail it out tomorrow. I'll take a picture of the lot to post here after it's received and then wrap it up pretty to be sent out into the great beyond. I worked really hard on everything and am so nervous that she may not like it or may not think it's fancy/good/special enough.

On the bad side, my computer at home died yesterday, so I'm only going to have access at work for the time being. I'm taking a trip to my parents this weekend to let my dad poke around at it and take it apart and see if he can save it.

On the frustrating side, I have to go home on my "lunch" today and change my clothes and such - the media department at work is doing a staff photo shoot for our department today and I ran out the door without makeup and wearing a cream sweater and they've requested that we wear dark colors. Whoever had the brilliant idea to schedule something like this on a friggin' Monday needs to be smacked.

Happy Monday everyone :(


Monday, September 1, 2008

Making Progress

Well, I got the main part of my bag swap stuff done - yay! It turned out really cute and I'm pleased. Now I just have a couple little things to complete to round it out and I can get it on it's way. Can't say where it's headed, but it's leavin' the country!

The weekend was mostly good, but was so busy that I'm just drained. GOtta gear up for another week of work though - but thankfully it'll only be 4 days and I'll have dance on wednesday night so it should go fairly quickly.

Hope everyone had a good holiday weekend.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Time Crunch

Ok great. I feel like I'm going to be the last person in the swap done with their package. Stephanie over at Loft Creations already has hers done, nicely packaged, and ready to go.

I haven't started the quilt for my dad for Christmas either. Not good.

Work is crazy and this weekend is going to be as well. I'm going to the Highland Games up in Harbor Springs (MI) on Saturday (I'm not dancing, I'm not back to that point yet, but I just wanted to go) and then I'll head to my parents Sunday afternoon and spend Labor day with them.

Golfed again last night. Improved my score for 9 by 12 strokes (which is great until you do the math and realize that if I could take 12 strokes off my score for 9 and still be displeased with it that it's not a great score ....) but I did par the last hole, a long par 4, so at least it ended on a good note I suppose.

Thankfully I only work til 5 today. I can work on the bag swap items tonight and should be able to get most of it done if I can keep Zoe away from me long enough.

I just hate feeling like I have a million things to do and the fear that comes along with it of not being able to get them done ....

Monday, August 25, 2008

The long and short of it ...

Well, I'm really glad that I decided to do a prototype of what I planned on making for the Bag/Bucket swap. The pattern I bought had 3 sizes. My brain automatically went "make the biggest one!" Yeah, it's gargantuan. You could probably carry around a small child in it. But it's in these fabrics - so it'll go to my mom as part of her Christmas present. She loves Tink. No peeks though, because then it would give away part of the swap!
Here are the actual fabrics, or at least some of them, for the real bag that will be sent out. This was a challenge. I like graphic prints and jewel/dark colors and blues. Needless to say I had nothing in the fabric that I owned (which is pretty limited anyways) so I'm really hoping that the bag turns out well and that I did okay on fabric selection. I would feel so bad if she was disappointed.
As I mentioned in the last post, life around here has been pretty crazy. Zoe seems to be able to amuse herself though - I had put a movie on pause and I'm sure you're all familiar with the bouncing DVD logo ... she climbed on top of the TV and tried to catch it. Naturally, I had to take a couple pictures, though I was laughing pretty hard.

So here's the tie in with the title. I am really feeling the itch to do something with my hair. Most of my life I've had it long. I cut it pretty short last year and now it's back at the just-past-the-shoulder length. So I'm doing what any logical blogger would do - solicit opinions from complete strangers. The first picture is last fall - fairly short

The next 2 pictures are from my senior year of undergrad (2005) when I had my hair pretty long.

So what do you all think? I need to do something but can't decide what. My hair is naturally curly, so I need to figure out something that will look ok whether I straighten it or not.

So I guess that's about all that's going on around here. I've been trying to work on the Disney scrapbook a lot - so that's taken time away from sewing anything. Now I've got to focus on finishing up the bag swap and then putting together the top for my dad's Christmas quilt. All while I'm entering the busy season at work.

At least football starts soon .... my Colts play opening weekend!

Thanks for stopping by ...


Thursday, August 21, 2008


Where does the summer go? Seriously!

Sorry I haven't been around (though I don't think many people know I'm out here, so I doubt anyone's been missing me ...) This has been a really busy month.

The first weekend of August, I had to work

The second weeknd of August, I had a weekend long scrapbooking thing/long weekend visit with the parents

The third weekend of August (this coming one) I'm actually around but have a to-do list so long it actually scares me ... kind of along the lines of it's long enough that if it were a boa constrictor it could strangle me....

The last weekend/labor day weekend, I think I'm spending the weekend at a highland dance competition.

I'm also subbing on my aunt's golf league two times this month - did that last night and then will again next weekend. My score was crap and will not be published on the net. 'Nuff said!

And that's August in a nutshell. Work is crazy, but my 4% raise will finally go in to effect hopefully on the next paycheck. It's not a whole lot, but the way the economy is these days, I'll take it and be quite grateful.

Le sigh. I've been so stressed with work and everything, I may splurge and get myself a 6-pack of my favorite, Bell's Oberon - they're a Michigan brewery and Oberon is their summer beer. Perfect with an orange slice ....

I'll have some pictures up this weekend, promise!!!

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Hey there strangers!

Alright - here is my finish! These were the first blocks I ever attempted and the first top I put together (the baby quilt a couple posts back got finished first due to it needing to be gifted) I used several blue tonal FQ bundles from Joann's and a couple bundles of their fat eighths in black and whites. Sizewise, it's in between a twin and a full, so it's big and I did quilt it on my machine. It was enough to never make me want to quilt on a regular sized machine again .... but I quilted the pieced blocks and the sashing in the ditch and I quilted concentric squares in the open squares and triangles.

Here is the back. In what is becoming true Abby tradition, I pieced the back on purpose. I used scraps from the front and basic black yardage. I'm not sure what batting is - Mountain Mist or something similar I got for 50% off. It didn't really crinkle that much after washing, but I think it's because the quilting is 2"-2.5" apart. The binding is also leftover blue from the front. There must have been a quilting angel with me because I finished with exactly enough - there wasn't even anything to trim once I got to the end, I just tucked it in. It was kind of a miracle. It still took like 6 or 7 movies to get all of the binding tacked on the back - am I doing something wrong? It probably shouldn't take that long ....

Now, it lives here in my living room. Yes, blue is my favorite color and it's slowly taking over my apartment as I get money to start replacing the random pieces of furniture that I have. I think it'll be happy there.

And now, for something completely different! I finished all 20 blocks for my halloween jelly roll quilt. I used the pattern Jellystone Park from Legacy Patterns. The pattern has been very easy to follow and has gone together quickly up to this point. I do have to rant though. I don't have a lot of money to spend on quilting or my other hobbies for that matter. It took a lot to get me to spend the $8 for this pattern. So, a few days ago when I was perusing various quilty blogs, I saw a beautiful top and though - wow that looks like the Jellystone Park pattern, cool! Then I read their blog - it was a free pattern from Bonnie Hunt over at Quiltville. I looked up the pattern, which she is calling Twist and Turn (or something very similar) and all of the instructions and all of the measurements are EXACTLY the same. I don't know whose came first, but there are some very clear copyright issues and I'm pretty pissed about it.


Anyways, here is my tentative layout: (kindly ignore the cat toys strewn about the floor)

So, here is my other dillemma. The blocks finish at just a bit over 11" square. The pattern calls for them to be trimmed to 10.5" square. Is this really necessary? That's going to add up to an awful lot of fabric waste. It took a lot of convincing to go ahead and buy the fancy name brand fabric and I don't want to waste it. Should I try to trim them (which I don't have a 10.5" ruler, so it'll take a lot of work to trim them properly) On the other hand, I don't want to ruin this quilt, because I really like how it's turning out and it was really expensive fabric - at least for me. Any input - I really could use some help here .... if I leave the blocks as is, what's the worst that could happen other than completely ruining my top?

And of course, I had lots of help from Zoë ... and by help, I mean she kept plopping down in the middle of whatever I was trying to cut and since the cuts make everything have bias edges, I couldn't just pull it out from under her because it would stretch and distort the sections. But she sure does like to assist her momma!

Well, I think that gets you all caught up. I have fabric and pattern set out for the bag swap, so I'll start on that and the pattern arrived for my dad's Christmas quilt out of the Hamptons jelly roll, so I need to get moving on that as well. I'm taking Friday and Monday off of work for a long weekend and heading to visit my parents. My mom and I are going to a Cricut swarm, even though neither of us have a Cricut yet, haha! She's going to work on making some cards, I'm going to work on my Disney scrapbook, so I'm sure we'll have plenty to do and I'm sure we'll be able to play with some of the Cricuts that will be there already (there's 60 women getting together for this) I'm sure I'll have some pictures of the festivities to share with you next week!


Monday, July 28, 2008

Quick update, sans pictures for now. Finished hand sewing the binding on my quilt last night, so now I just have to wash and dry it and I'll take finished pictures. These were my first blocks ever and now the first time making my own binding and handsewing the back of it down (which took FOREVER!) and I think I'm pretty pleased with it.

Now I can turn focus to my items for the bag swap :) I picked up supplies and hope it goes well and will be something my partner will like. I've never swapped before and am nervous, so we'll see.

How was everyone's weeked?

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

What's up next?

So, what's on the docket other than the monstrous blue quilt? (which, on the binding front now has all but a foot of the 3rd side done ... it's getting there!)
First up is the top I'm working on now using this Jelly Roll:

Next up is a quilt using 2 jelly rolls, a charm pack and this yardage - all from the same line, but I'm just showing you these since I think they're the best fabrics in the line. It's from The Hamptons by Minnick & Simpson for Moda.

You don't even want to know how much difficulty I had getting ahold of the fabrics from this line. It came out in October 2007. I wasn't allowing myself to look at fabric partially because I didn't know where to find the good stuff and partially because I didn't have money to spend on it anyways. I saw a project someone else completed and noticed the blueprint fabric and fell in love. I grew up in a town right on a large lake and it hosts a large scale sailboat race each summer. Sailboats are just part of my childhood and my dad loves going down by the river (it opens out to the lake) to watch the boats and freightors go by. I thought this would be perfect to make a quilt for him - problem was, it was gone. Every site I went to was out. I found a fat quarter bundle, went back to get it the next day and it was gone. I finally found a store that had a couple jelly rolls, so I snatched those up, but needed to find the blueprint. All I could find was white with red printing, which was definitely NOT what I wanted. After about 12 hours of searching (over many days, not in a row), a mishandled order by a store in NC, and lots of frustration, I finally found some on eBay and snapped it up. I now have enough for his quilt (pattern TBD) and to make placemats for myself for my kitchen, which will be nautical themed.

After all the headaches, it was worth it. The jelly roll pictured above was also from a line that was released last fall that I loved (Scaredy Cat by Minnick & Simpson for Moda) but didn't let myself buy because of money. That was considerably easier to find and I was able to get matching yardage to complete a top - and it was on sale. Woo hoo!

I don't know what the moral of the story is because I couldn't have bought these last year because I didn't have the money. Looking at them now that they're in my possession, especially the blue boat blueprint fabric, it was totally worth the stress because it's perfect.

Got any stories about harried searched for the perfect fabric? Any fabric that you just missed out on and regret snatching up? I'd love to hear them!

Needless to say, after those splurges, no fabric purchases for a very long time. I pretty much used my "fabric budget" for the year on those, but that's okay (and don't panic, I do have a very small budget and I'm okay with that) Besides, I don't want to have tons of stash and no projects to show for it. I really need to get my projects done that are in the que before bringing in more fabric!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Life's a zoo!

Hello again! Sorry for the delay, but yesterday ended up being a very busy day and I only managed to get my pictures uploaded from the weekend and didn't get a chance to put them up here before I crashed.

The weekend away was good - I spent it with one of my best friends from college and her husband. They live about 2 hours away from me, so we try to see each other once a month if possible. We planned to have a pretty low-key weekend and I think we were quite successful! The big highlight of the weekend was going to the zoo over there. We went to the John Ball Zoo which is in Grand Rapids, Michigan. It's not a huge zoo like the Detroit Zoo, but it's beautifully kept and they have a nice variety of animals.

They had a bunch of wallabies with babies in the pouch ...

One of the lady lions in their new lion exhibit.

I'm on the left in the blue, Eren's in the green. The monkeys are monkeys!

and oh my GOODNESS! These little cats were adorable - they were called Black Footed Cats and were so tiny - smaller than my full grown house cat and CUTER than cute! There were 2 in there and it was so hard to get decent pictures because they were in a dark area inside, but if could have taken one home, I would have!

They also have a nice Penguinarium/Aquarium area, complete with a tide pool - as the tide was going down, these little guys were hanging on for all they were worth!

Finally, a couple of penguin pictures - 'cause they're my favorite! Sorry they're a little dark, but I had to share them anyways!

Eren is a crafter as well - she mostly knits and was working on a beautiful baby sweater, but she is looking at delving into her second quilt. Her first was a wedding gift for a friend and she tackled appliqued circles and made up her own pattern. It turned out beautiful, but yes, she's crazy! This quilt will be for her, and we picked up 14 of the 18 colors the pattern called for ...

Her mom made her the beautiful pillow and we're pulling the colors from there - isn't it going to be gorgeous?

Finally, here is what I've been working on - putting the binding on my monster of a first quilt. It was a block of the month from a community on LiveJournal. It's not great, but I did learn a ton.

I'm a little over half done with the binding. Is it just me or is hand sewing the binding down in the back the slowest process ever?! Anyone have any tips for making it go faster. Getting to the halfway point has taken like 4 or 5 movies. Seriously, I may just make quilt tops for the rest of my life and not bother with the finishing!!!

On that note, I think I'll save the pictures of what's on deck for the next post, which will probably go up today. I just don't want to push the picture limits yet!

Thanks for stopping by!


Thursday, July 17, 2008

No pictures...

I think I already hate Blogger! This my second attempt at this post. Actually probably third or fourth because initially it wouldn't let me post at all so I had to publish a blank and go back and edit it. Then I tried to add pictures, but it only added them at the top and would let me fix the words.

So I try again.

Sorry for not getting pictures out earlier, I need to get my Flickr account back in order, but apparently I don't remember my login or password. Yup, probably need to work on that.

So, here are a couple recent projects I've done ...
A baby quilt for a friend ...

and a pieced back because I love pieced backs

They're expecting a little girl, but I didn't want it to be INYOURFACEPINK, so it doesn't actually have any pink in it at all :) This is the first quilt that I actually quilted, bound and finished, though it's not my first top. My first top is what I'm currently binding and it's taking forever because it's huge.

The quilt was well received, but I wasn't entirely thrilled with it. I had a couple inner block seams pop when it was washed and had to blind stitch them shut and I tried to quilt it on my machine, which didn't go so well. But I did learn a lot. I just hope it holds together ....

I've since done another baby quilt top from a charm pack - Tiddlywinks from Moda in a disappearing 9 patch

This one doesn't exactly have a person in mind, but I wanted to sew and I'm at that age where a lot of my friends are starting to have kids, so it doesn't hurt to have one banked for emergencies, right?

Finally, I want to introduce my assistant. She inspects all fabric, quilts and other projects. She demands love and ice cream and is responsible for general mischief around the apartment ...

Zoë Belle

Well, I think that's enough for now. I have a few more pics to upload, but I think I'll save those for after the weekend. I'm ducking out of work early tomorrow and heading off to visit one of my girlfriends from college for the weekend. Her DH wants to go to the zoo, so we'll be doing that on Saturday and then she wants to pick out fabric for her first quilt! Should be good times all around.

A big hello to Stephanie and Claire thanks for being my first visitors!

Friday, July 11, 2008

Obligatory First Post!

Well hello blogland! This is my first post over here (and one that is likely to be overlooked, but that's okay) After perusing and enjoying the blogs of fellow quilters over the past year, I've decided to delve in to the fun.

So who am I? I'm Abby, a 20something single girl living in Michigan. The Tomboy Princess? I guess that's one of the better ways to describe myself .... I'm a self-described jock who listens to alternative and hard rock and would rather watch sports than soap operas. But I love great shoes, shopping, all things Disney (yes, especially princesses), craftiness (including quilting of course!) and my cat. I suppose I'm a walking paradox ... but that's who I am.

Hopefully I can keep up with my blog and get to know some of you other wonderful quilters out there in cyber space.

What am I working on now? I'm getting ready to put the binding on my first life-size quilt (technically, my first completed quilt was a baby quilt, so it was much smaller and easier to manage) and am cutting pieces for a table runner. Guess I'll try to get some pictures up this weekend!

Til then ....