Friday, November 26, 2010

Bits of sewing

Thanksgiving went off without a hitch! Well, unless you consider the gravy flood of 2010, but otherwise, everything was great. Hehe.

In the last week or so, in and amongst preparations for the holiday, I managed a bit of sewing!

First, I volunteered to be an angel for this round of the 3x6 Bee over on I knew I couldn't devote a lot of time to being part of a beehive this quarter, but I've liked helping out when I had some free time.

Dipped into my stash, and found I rather love the color combo. Not sure it would work in my house, but it's one more reason I love bees--I get to play with fabrics and color combos I might not otherwise sew with. Also, I love maverick stars. LOVE them. So quick and easy--I have a feeling that my Heather Ross quilt may be made of these. Ah, one day...

In other news, I'd mentioned that I'd finished the last 10 blocks of my husband's quilt. Here they are together on the design wall. They just need sashing and sewing together. I may move them around some, as I see a few spots where the red is pretty concentrated.

I've got a couple yards of khaki solid for sashing. And that dark print with the little spots? It's a Japanese import, little owls on an indigo background. My husband fell in love with it when I was using it in one of the first months of my first bees last year--I tracked some down on Etsy, and have slowly worked along on improv log cabin style blocks. It should be big enough for a good-sized throw (just shy of a twin bed size), and will go well with the reds, blues and tans in his man cave. :)

Now, for a little more recuperation from yesterday's holiday marathon. So far, today has been nothing but lounging and napping. However, I do have a hot date for some leftovers, drinks and video games this evening. How can a girl resist an offer like that??

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Hibernation instinct

You know, I don't much care that the Weather Channel keeps telling me that the Northeast is running about 10 degrees above average. It's cold most morning when I'm going to work. And it's cold most evenings when I'm getting out of work. My house is cold--the heat clicks on. We have piles of covers on the bed, and the cats sleep on the bed in shifts to be all snuggly and warm. The littlest one has started her annual habit of burrowing under the covers and napping there all day long.

My Yankee instinct at this time of year is to hibernate. A warm cup of tea after a hot, comforting dinner. Curling up with a blanket and a cat and a book in the evenings.

There has been a bit of sewing. I finally caved in and joined the Pillow Talk Swap over on flickr, this being their fourth round, and my first. I've got the front pieced and quilted--I just need to put it together with the back. I finished the last 10 blocks of my husband's improv log cabin quilt, and will spend the weekend sewing on sashing and sewing blocks together.

That just means I have to survive Thanksgiving! This is my second year hosting--last year was extremely stressful, but both my mother and husband have noted that I seem much calmer this year. If you don't count the massive muscle spasm I've carried in my right shoulder for the last month, I'd agree with them. I feel fairly well prepared--I'm doing less this year than I did last year. I'm doing the bird, gravy and three sides--two of the sides will be done and ready to be reheated by tomorrow afternoon. Mom's bringing pies and 2 more sides. My in-laws and their friends are bringing befores. I delegated pretty well this year, and the house is clean--it'll just need a quick once-over that morning. And there's only 11 of us this year. Still too many for a sit-down dinner in my teeny-tiny little house, but less than last year's 14.

And once it's done, I get to enjoy three more days off--here's to hoping I have enough energy for some sewing! And to my readers--have a happy and safe holiday. See you on the flip side, with photos of what I've been working on!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

3 highways, 8 flights of stairs...

or, How I Met Denyse Schmidt.

Ok. Long post incoming, you've been warned.

As some of you know, yesterday and today were the dates for Denyse Schmidt's studio sale in Bridgeport, CT. I don't live too far from there--in fact, I work about a half-hour away from her studio location. I've even dreamed about taking her improv piecing workshops. But imagine my dismay when I realized I was scheduled to work a 9.5 hour shift on Day 1 of Denyse's studio sale. I couldn't get a switch for the shift. My one break of the day wasn't long enough to get down there and back, let alone get into the building.

I emailed back and forth a bit with several of the ladies helping Denyse with the sale. No, they weren't planning on holding anything back for day 2. At 3pm, they notified me that there was very little fabric left, and just a few scrap bags remaining. Throwing my cautious nature to the wind, I told Julie (who was a sweetie) that I wasn't sure what the etiquette was, but would she put aside a couple of scrap bags for me, and I'd come down Sunday morning.

I didn't hear anything back last night or early this morning. I was in an agony of indecision. I knew I couldn't afford one of Denyse's quilts, even at a reduced price, on my current budget. For all that I'm not an incredibly productive quilter, I love to quilt and I love Denyse's fabric. Should I drive down and find myself disappointed if there's nothing left?

I got an email this morning from Denyse herself, in the midst of my indecision, saying that there wasn't any DS fabric left, if that was what I was hoping for, but that there were a couple of scrap bags left. I thanked her profusely, conveying my regret that I hadn't been able to be there on day 1. And then Julie emailed me and said "hey, I have 2 scrap bags with your name on them at our table in the studio."

Thank you, Julie, for that final prod in the bum. I jumped out of my cozies and slippers, took a shower, threw on some clothes and raced out the door. Honestly, that drive of 3 highways was a total blur. I got turned around at one point (my own inaccurate writing of directions--yay me), found my way back and to the right building, and then faced...

The stairs. For those of you unfamiliar, Denyse's studio is at the top (4th) floor of an old converted warehouse, which now houses some gorgeous studios for a number of very talented artists--this weekend was an open-house for these artists. This also means that I had 8 flights of very steep steps ahead of me. For some, no issue. For me, well, I have a sedentary job and had partly-successful back surgery two years ago (I never regained full feeling or function in my left leg).

This? Was a trek of epic proportions. A commitment, as Allison (another of Denyse's helpers) said. I did it, I'm proud to say. Only realizing, as I climbed, that I was wearing a shirt with a stain on it. And I'd forgotten my belt. And I'm not sure my socks matched. I was a mess, going to meet one of my industry idols. *facepalm*

Too late to turn around now.

I reached the top, winded, and stood outside the studio, looking at several of the gorgeous quilts hung up for display (and to buy a little time to recover). Did I bring my camera? Are you kidding? I'm lucky I was wearing pants! I finally mustered up a little courage, and went inside. Quilts, pillow covers, shams. And Denyse. I had to keep walking and keep up the pretense of looking around for a minute, I was admittedly starstruck. (I wasn't being rude, I promise. She was also chatting with some other visitors, taking photos. It would have been rude to interrupt!)

I found the bin of scrap bags, and sure enough, there were just a couple left. I checked them out, found one with some blue dotted leaves from FMF at the bottom, snapped it up and went to the table. I was probably grinning like a fool. This is where things got a little hazy...

Julie asked if I was Meg, I said I was, and Denyse perked up and smiled at me, saying she was glad I'd made it. I shook hands, saying it was an honor to meet her, thanking them for the work they'd put into the studio sale. Julie grabbed the bag with the other two scrap bags in it, and Denyse herself rang up my sale. She noted I'd found some FMF, as well as some KJR, and I believe I said something along the lines of being able to pick out a DS print at 20 paces. Or maybe I just thought it. As I said, hazy. I signed up for her online newsletter, filled out an art show raffle ticket, thanked the ladies again and found myself outside again, dazed and blinking. The combination of endorphin high from the climb and from meeting Denyse Schmidt was enough that I don't really remember the drive home, either...

I'm home again, obviously. I've pawed through my scrap bags, full of great vintage fabrics, some of each of Denyse's fabric lines, as well as lots of solid and shot cotton scraps. Denyse was sweet, and I have to say, absolutely lovely--any photos I'd seen did not do her justice. Oh, and I've seen Greenfield Hill in person. I wasn't sure about it from early photos of it, but seeing it together in a quilt (the blue and green colorways in one of her recent patterns), I have to say it has some distinct possibilities.

I'm looking forward to her next studio sale, at which point, I will certainly be prepared to be there on day one.

And I'll also make sure I have a clean shirt on.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Destash comes to a close

If you've been following me this week, you know I've been destashing in a big way. You can go over to my etsy shop to see all the goodies. If you've been waiting until I'm done listing things before you start shopping? Wait no more--right now, everything I'm planning to destash has been listed. A big thank you to everyone who has bought from me--the big project now? Shipping!

Picking up where I left off

With the destash sale, that is! I woke up late this morning, thanked my municipality for the floating holiday today, and went out to run errands in the beautiful New England fall morning. Not a cloud in the sky, warm, still a little color on the trees. I picked up a few things at the grocery store, grabbed a cup of coffee, then took a drive down the valley to the farm to pick up this week's co-op box. Broccoli, peppers, sweet potatoes, pumpkin, squash, turnips, and chicken! Tonight we're having roast chicken with veggies, I think. Mmmm.

In any case, I'm home now and ready to start day 2 of the giant destash of epic proportions. Thanks again to my customers who helped out overnight! Keep your eyes peeled over at my etsy shop--lots of great yardage coming up today!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Final destash update, day 1

Wow. 44 listings up at the moment. I've hardly made a dent. It's after 5 here, and pitch dark--no more photos til tomorrow. I've been through Yellow and Orange from my modern stash so far, in addition to precuts, some FQ bundles, etc. I have a crick in my shoulder like whoa--I need a masseuse named Sven to help me out with that.

There's some pretty great stuff in ye olde shoppe, if I do say so myself. Heather Ross's Mendocino, Denyse Schmidt's KJR, Amy Butler's Belle, and Midwest Modern 2, and Lotus. Joel Dewberry. Lizzy House, Tula Pink. You know, just to name a few. :D

Happy shopping, folks, and thanks again for helping me destash. I've needed to tackle this for awhile now, but having to come up with closing costs in order to refinance our mortgage really gave me the kick in the pants I needed. See you tomorrow!

Destashing update

Just before 3pm. I've realized I've forgotten to eat. Still a lot more to go through. This will certainly continue on into tomorrow. Thanks for your patience! About to get into some yardage, and the most modern part of my stash.

First, though, lunch. Or snack...

Destash sale update...

So, being the silly woman that I am, I forgot to recharge my camera battery yesterday. That meant that partway through photographing the second round of fabrics to list over on my etsy shop for the epic destash sale of massive proportions, the battery went kaput. I managed to bring over a few photos, and got those listings posted. Nicey Jane FQs and some scrap and other FQ bundles, including some holiday-type scrappy bundles are up there now.

Sorry for the delay. I'm going to go and prep some more things to photograph while I wait for the battery to charge up some. Keep an eye on me here and over on Twitter for more destash madness!

First round of destashing, posted!

I've gotten all of the precuts I'm destashing listed in my etsy shop!

Lots of April Cornell, Bonnie & Camille, some Urban Chicks, Chez Moi, and more.

Next round will be some coordinated FQ bundles and scrap packs (by collection, color or theme). Should have those up within the next hour or so.

Want up to the minute info on what I'm working on? Follow me on twitter, located in my sidebar!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Getting ready for a destash of epic proportions!

So, all those giveaways? Were just the tip of the iceberg! I'm in the midst of a major resort and destash in my sewing room. (To my last batch of winners, don't fret. Your prizes are set aside and neatly packaged, waiting for the USPS. No mix-ups, I promise!)

Last night, I went through my precuts. Holy wow. Once upon a time, I joined a jelly-roll of the month club. I had such high hopes for my own productivity. Ha! Now I am drowning in them, months after canceling my membership. Add in a few honeybuns, and layer cakes, and charm packs, and... Well, it's really just the tip of the iceberg.

What does this mean for y'all? I just wanted to give you a heads-up. I plan on going through yardage tomorrow night, and then taking photos Thursday morning. By early Thursday afternoon, I should have at least a quarter of the listings up. I'll keep you posted here as well as on Twitter. There is a LOT of good stuff, OOP, HTF, etc. 3 sisters, Amy Butler, Chez Moi, Sandy Gervais, Erin McMorris, Lizzy House, MoMo... Just to name a few.

Now, back to work with me!

Friday, November 5, 2010

Final GiveAway Winners!

Holy wow, you guys! 168 comments is absolutely a new record around these parts. I want to thank everyone who joined in the fun throughout October--it was a blast. So much so, I know I want to do this again next year--I'll start planning now!

In the meantime, I'm guessing folks might be interested if they won some goodies!

For those interested in the gory details, I went through and made up separate lists for each of the prizes, adding extra entries for those who blogged, tweeted or Facebooked. Then cut up the slips and dumped each list in its own bowl. Fishing around with my eyes closed brought up a winner from each bowl.

For the Amy Butler Full Moon dots, the winner is...:

Diane said...

I am a new follower!

The winner of the Heather Ross scrap pack is....:

Ducks and Rabbits said...

I'd love any of those but if I must chose one than it's #2 - the Heather Ross scraps.

The winner of the Happy Holidays scraps was:

WvHmmngbrd said...

I would love the scraps from my Saavy Seasons projects. Thanks for the chance to win!

I think Monica over at Happy Zombie would be delighted to bits that her fabrics were such a runaway hit!

And finally, the winner of the Flea Market Fancy fabrics is:

sarahbeth814 said... I put your giveaway on my FB!

Thank you everyone for your wonderful comments--it made this giveaway process so much fun. Winners, go and check your emails!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Something a little traditional

I'm on vacation this week, and the time off has been stuffed full of grown-up stuff. Getting the ball rolling to refinance on our mortgage, talking to building inspectors and appraisers, going to the dentist. In a word? Yuck.

Today, I finally got a chance to sit down and do a little sewing! I took a block I've seen around quite a bit lately (I even did one for a fellow Beehive member awhile back) and scoured through some of my older stash for the makings of a traditional buzzsaw block.

While I'm fairly new to the online quilting community, I've actually been quilting for about 11 years now. And my roots are pretty traditional. I also inherited a ginormous stash of Civil War repro prints from a friend when she was moving earlier this year. So I dipped into some of that, too, and made up a buzzsaw block to fashion into a pillow cover for a Xmas present that will go to my grandmother. It's not quite altogether yet, but should be by evening's end, then on to the pillow-making part tomorrow.

It's also a great test-run for timing, as I'd like to work on this concept after the first of the year to make a nice big scrappy quilt. :)

Looking for the give-away? I'm choosing the winner after noon EST on Friday, so there's still time to enter. Go here!