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 ...

Zoƫ 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 ....