Wednesday, June 29, 2011

vacation planning: WIP Wednesday

Last Saturday I spent 8 hours cleaning and organizing my sewing room as part of a multi-phase plan to get organized and stay that way.  I don't know when or how it got into such a state, but is was an utter disastrophe. Seriously. 

Now it's better. It's not perfect, but it's better. Way better. Perfect comes later. Anyway, phase I completed. Moving on. 

[note. this is where most people would include the before & after shots. Instead of doing that, I will simply relay one of my favorite quotes from Granda Lola, who will be 103 in November. "Cheryl Ann, when I die, please promise me that you won't tell anyone how many cookie cutters I had."  Interpret as you like.]

Phase II involves a promise I made to my husband in a fit of delirium. I said, "I'm going to concentrate on finishing the projects I have midstream before I start anything else. And until they're done, I'm only going to buy fabric to finish those - nothing else."  This was before Loulouthi, so I deserve some sort of award for making it this long, yes? 

We're leaving for a week's vacation at the family lake house tomorrow, so last night I started packing up my sewing artillery. I'm planning to spend two days sewing, so I selected two quilt tops to back, quilt, and bind. 

Article 1: Game Day Quilt. I started this one late last summer. 

AND I already have everything on hand to finish it.  [does this mean I could rationalize buying 2 or 3 yards of new stuff?!]

Article 2: Lollipatch. 
Lollipatch - WIP

This one is really embarrassing. i started it when my pal Laura was in the hospital having her baby. Well, Baby Maya had her first birthday a few months ago and the quilt top was still neatly folded in my fabric closet. 

I can't find a picture of Maya, so here's a pic of her older brother, Noah, when he was the age she is now. Use your imagination. They're both cutie-smunchkins. 
Not quite sure

I have one more (unphotographed) quilt top at home that I need to back, quilt, and bind, but this one requires a small online fabric purchase (with no add-ons, I swear), so it's not getting done next week. 

Once these three quilts are completed, it's on to the next Phase. And the next. 

Phase V, incidentally, is the really exciting bit. It's where I'm going to paint my sewing room, make new curtains, put up the organizational shelving system I bought at IKEA two years ago, and then smile like a Cheshire cat until my face falls off.    

What are you up to on summer vacation? 

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Linking up with WIP Wednesday on this... follow the link and see what everyone else has going on! 

Friday, June 10, 2011

an absolutely true 18-word book review

Last night I finished listening to a book that I really thought I'd love. Based on the recommendations and the smashing reviews, I was all prepared for a life-altering experience. Here's my official review:

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time IndianThe Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

good, but I didn't love it. i'll let it marinate for a while and maybe i'll grow fonder.

View all my reviews

Does this ever happen to you? You hear about a book, get intrigued, read it, and...meh. I mean, it's not that I didn't like it - I liked it. I just didn't lllooooouuuuurrve it.

Books like these, I like to let them mature a while inside my head. Maybe I revisit. Maybe I just find myself thinking about it in those spaces between other things, and then i think some more, and some more, and then I decide I loved it.

Time will tell.

Have you read this one? What did you think? 

Saturday, June 4, 2011

all grows up

So I mentioned last week that my sister got married, which is why I've been so MIA for the last month or so. I'll take some time in the next week or so to talk more about the wedding and how beautiful she was and how I rocked my MOH speech. Right now I just want to share the quilt I made her (and Rob. it's for him, too!) for my wedding gift.

You may remember that she lived with me last summer and helped me photograph this quilt. 
Urban Amish Garden Party - 1

She was a good sport. 
Urban Amish Garden Party - 2

So for her wedding I wanted to make her a quilt of her own.  Ta da. 
Wedding Quilt for my sister (and Rob)

She's long moved out, so those are my husband's feet you see. 

I'd had a few FQs of Basic Grey's Blush for a while, and when I started to pull fabrics for her quilt, I was drawn to the browns, pinks and reds in this line for her. I rounded it out with a few more blue prints from the collection as well as some coordinating solids and almost-solids. The "grunge" prints from this line look great in person, but they do not photograph well. My camera got a little dizzy, I think. 
Wedding Quilt for my sister (and Rob)

I went witha strip pattern reminiscent of the quilt she helped me photograph last summer, but using wider strips to show off the interesting prints (that's a total lie. i used wider strips because this was a quilt-in-a-week-and-i-work-full-time situation. but that'll be our secret.). 
Wedding Quilt for my sister (and Rob)

For the quilting I chose a dark grey thread, which looks cool against the red on the back, and an all-over meandering pattern. This was my first time attempting it on a big quilt, and I'm really happy with how it turned out. And it was FAST. Holy stippling batman. I did it in one sitting!  To minimize my Type-A stress, I drew the design onto the quilt sandwich with a washable marker before sitting down at the machine.  Easy. Peasy. 

I'm really happy with how it turned out. The coordinating solids in blues and yellows pulled the palette together for me. And most importantly, they love it. 
Wedding Quilt for my sister (and Rob)

And my new quilt photography helper was a good sport, even when i asked him to crouch down ( lean back...raise your right stay there) so I'd have a footless shot :)
Wedding Quilt for my sister (and Rob)

This is the fourth quilt that I've made and given away. It gets easier every time.