Monday, March 14, 2011

the neighbors are talking

So I'm pretty sure I'm allergic to walnuts. There I was, all proud of myself for trekking up to Pet Supplies Plus to buy a bag of lizard litter so that i could fill my pincushion for the scrappy pincushion swap with proper ground English walnut shells.

And shortly thereafter, I was a splotchy, sneezing, snotting, scratching, swollen, eye-watering mess. And, NOT the hot kind of mess. The real kind of mess. The kind of mes that must quickly be quarantined lest her husband see her in a state of such immense unattractiveness.

Luckily I got the little bugger filled before I realized what was going on. But what I did NOT get done was to sew up the opening. With my due date fast approaching, I called in a favor with one of my sewing sisters, and she was nice enough to meet me in the parking lot of a closed-for-the-winter swim club to sew it up for me. It was dark outside, and pretty cold, so pulled our cars up next to each other and passed "the goods" back and forth through our car windows.

I wonder what the neighbors thought, seeing two SUVs at the Smoky Row Swim Club in the pitch dark. Whatever they thought, I'm sure it was NOT that she was sewing a pincushion closed for me. Thanks to our PM meetup, I was able to get the pincushion photographed and packed on time. Otherwise, i would have had to send it with a little note, "Dear Partner, I'm sorry I couldn't sew this shut for you. I've included a needle and thread so you can do it yourself."

Anyway, I'm SUPER happy with how this turned out. My partner for this one made a mosaic that, frankly, had me totally bewildered. So I began the arduous process of stalking her. Honestly, stalking is something that I excel at. I dominate. If this was suitable for a resume item, I'd include it.

Activities: Master Gardener, Tree Steward, Blood Doner, Semi-professional Online Stalker

Back to the pincushion. My partner's mosaic was cra-zy. Really weird and cool stuff, and quite a bit outside my general comfort zone, which I love. I was all set to make something really insane, and then the basement flooded and I lost about a week of my life dealing with insurance and service companies, etc.

So with time running out, I proceeded to stalk the heck out of her in hopes of coming up with a simpler idea that I could whip up quickly. Turns out we both love this OOP fabric line from Anna Maria Horner - Chocolate Lollipop.

Ta da.
Scrappy Pincushion Swap - sent

Check it. It's 3-D.

I floated some flowers on top for a bit of flair. They're backed with medium weight interfacing to prevent a bunch of fraying, and I created some dimension by layering them with wee bits of batting between. There's also a circle of batting between the body of the pincushion and the quartered circle on top. I hope she likes it! It's the one and only walnut-shell-filled pincushion I'll ever make!

Saturday, March 12, 2011

look, kids!

Poor me. My job suddenly necessitates a trip overseas. I'll be back in a week! Yippieeeee!

Monday, March 7, 2011

obsessive swapping disorder

So I signed up for too many swaps and I got in over my head. Which is ironic, because just as I was catching up and feeling like I could hit the deadlines, the basement flooded.  Luckily my sewing studio is on the second floor of our house, so the only things we really lost were the (new in Nov) carpet and a few days of sanity.

There's a long road ahead, but life feels normal again. Or, normal enough for me to spend some time finishing swaps. 

First up was the scrappy mug rug swap. My finished product: 
I wasn't sure what color to use for the binding. My original plan was for the orange you see above, but once i got the handstitching done I thought a more subtle binding would better showcase the embroidery. So I floated the question out to flickr, and...lo and secret partner commented with a request for the orange. Brilliant. 
final mug rug back
Meanwhile, check out what i received from Kelsey. it's magical. 
mug rug - received!
You should see the teeny, tiny handstitching. I covet Kelsey's patience. This definitely took hours and hours. Seriously, I keep picking it up and carrying it around the house, touching it. Pretty soon I'll be clutching it in my sleep. 

Speaking of coveting and clutching and dragging things around the house, I finished my quilt for Doll Quilt Swap 10, and I don't want to mail it. 
DQS10. done!
The swap instructions dictate that all quilts need to be labeled, so I designed the back with an integrated label. 
DQS10 the back
I don't know how I'm going to bring myself to take a marker to that little star, but rules are rules. I'll probably need a Xanax first, though. And another when it's time to mail. 

Truthfully, making this miniquilt has been totally fun. I started with a sketch and now I have a finished product. But that's another story that I don't have time for today. Why? Because I'm under the gun to finish up ANOTHER swap. This time, it's pincushions, and the deadline is in about 5 minutes. I've already received this amazingly-perfect-for-me pinny from Michelle over at I Like Orange, Too
When it arrived in the mail last week, I was THRILLED, but not really surprised. The minute I saw it pop up on flickr, I kinda knew it was for me. it's everything i love. Stacked strips, rainbows, FMF, kona charcoal, topstitching. It's so lovely. Luckily both of my hands are occupied as mentioned above, because I think my husband would institutionalize me if I started carrying a pincushion around the house like a woobie. It's already getting use in the studio, so my (his) sanity is safe for the time being.