Sunday, January 30, 2011

Sunday Stash, 1/30/11

Stash in action!

To say I feel a bit better about my productivity this weekend would be an understatement. I listened to music, and cooked, and most importantly, I sewed. This will be one quarter of My Quilt. I've gone whole hog with this quilt, cutting into my Heather Ross stash for the star centers, and even going so far as to cut into my Flea Market Fancy scraps for some of the star points. Crazy, I know! But I figure that if it's going to be the first quilt that I make for myself, it should be special, right?

It is also going to be HUGE. Each block is finishing at 12.5" square--what's on the design wall now measures just over 36"x48", and that's just a quarter. Finished, this puppy should be a fairly enormous 72"x96", a very generous twin size. PLENTY big for cuddling under. And considering that we're still buried under 4 feet of snow, with over a foot predicted to fall in the next storm slated for Tuesday/Wednesday this week, I think a big quilt is a very good idea.

I've done some shopping this past week, for a couple of reasons. When we were assigned our partners over in the Urban Home Goods swap on flickr, I had an immediate lightbulb moment. And then there's the Single Girl Support Group bunch on flickr--we have mentors helping us through making this slightly intimidating but very cool pattern by the very talented Denyse Schmidt. So while I decided to make the rings of said quilt with fabric from my stash, I didn't have the 5.5 yards required for background. So... I went over to Kerri's Etsy shop, and found everything I needed for both the quilt AND my idea for the UHG project. Those items aren't here yet, though, so I'm not counting them as adds to my stash this week, but I promise pictures in next week's post...

And then...there was the other purchase. See, I can justify (excuse?) the yumminess on its way from Kerri--even if a few extra odds and ends did happen to jump into my cart... But the other? Well, I'm blaming Ashley over at Film in the Fridge. She happened to mention the closing of a certain online retailer in a post this past week, and having caught me in a weak, snowbound moment, I caved. And boy, did I have fun!! So there will be more photos of guilty pleasure incoming.

In the meantime, I will look anywhere but directly at you and whistle innocently while I post my stash report for this week...

Used this Week: 0 (not counting the blocks on the design wall until they become a bona fide quilt top)
Used year to Date: 3.5 yards
Added this Week: 0
Added Year to Date: .75 yards
Net Used for 2011: 2.75 yards

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Sick and tired

You remember that week I had off? Well, I woke up on the first day of said week with a cold. Not like the sniffles, or a little frog in my throat. I mean a full on upper and lower respiratory monster, complete with with a cough that I'm still working on kicking two weeks later and a fever.

Yup. I spent that week's vacation looking like this:

Curled in the fetal position, adorned with cats. Special thanks to little Beans (L) and Domino for posing so nicely.

My MRI had to be rescheduled because I couldn't lay flat for an hour without hacking. Same went for the couples massage my husband and I had planned. Going out to eat was sort of senseless, since A) we'd have to sit in the plague section and B) I couldn't taste a thing.

The upshot is that everything fell by the wayside, including my grand quilting plans. Oh wait, did I mention we've had 4 feet of snow in the last month? That's right, one horking storm a week, a foot at a time. Reallllly sick of that, too.

Here's what I've accomplished in the last 2 weeks...

Pretty. Pitiful, but pretty. Hoping for a little more pretty and a little less pitiful this weekend!

And, while I'm not counting it until it's in the house, I've fallen off the wagon with the fabric diet. So while tomorrow's Sunday Stash won't look like much, next week's? Wooo doggies, that's going to make for some pretty pictures!

Have a great week, and stay healthy!

Monday, January 17, 2011

What I did with my snow day

Last Wednesday, New England got socked with our third snowstorm in three weeks, and it was a doozy! Here in my part of Connecticut, we got just over two feet of snow--enough to break records in some places. And really, once you're counting it in feet, who cares how much there is? It's a LOT.

Thankfully, my uber-boss (the town manager) decided to follow the Governor's directive and close municipal offices last Wednesday. An impromptu snow day--yay! The madman was already scheduled to be off that day, so we spent a cozy day snowed in together. And while he played video games, I got all caffeinated (I may or may not have also cleaned the kitchen during my coffee-fueled frenzy--the details got blurry) and came out sewing!

I joined the 3x6 Beehive Mini-Bee over on flickr this year--this is my first quarter with the group, and I have to say I love that I have a three-month chunk of time to make up blocks on my own schedule. So I figured I'd at least make a dent in my blocks on Wednesday. Thanks to my caffeine buzz, I made quick work of the demo block, in my own colors of green, gray and white:

I love the look of maverick stars, and with fewer seams and points to match than traditional star blocks, they work up really quickly.

This quickly, in fact--they're all done! Even better, they were all pieced from my scraps and stash--NO purchasing came into play for these puppies. You can see red was a VERY popular color in our little hive. I had such a great time with these blocks, it gave me the push I needed to finally start working on a project I've had bouncing around in my head for over a year--you saw hints of it in yesterday's Sunday stash post. I'm on vacation all week, and hope to get some more sewing done, so pop back here later this week, and there should be more progress!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Sunday Stash report

For me, I got quite a bit accomplished this week. I look around at my other quilty, bloggy friends and am often in awe at how much they manage to crank out, week after week, even with jobs and families and pregnancies and all sorts of other distractions. Heck, I just work, take care of the Madman, and indulge in a couple of other hobbies *coughWarcraftcough*. How do I manage to lag behind so terribly? Do you ever feel that way?

Part of it, I know, is just perception. And part of it is that they blog more often, and take prettier photos!

In any case, I finished my blocks for the first quarter of the 3x6 Beehive mini bee, all pieced from stash--I'll have photos of them tomorrow! I made one for each of the 6 other girls in my hive, plus one mock-up block in my own colors, just as a test run. They were not difficult, went together quickly, and used up a mighty amount of fabric--wonky piecing always seems to do that.

Oh, I got an update on the baby quilt I made and sent out last week. Even with all of the wild weather the East Coast has endured the last week and more, it got there in time for the baby shower! YES! And since I had finished one old UFO with that quilt, I figured that gave me license to start something new. Logic? Has no place in a quilter's studio. Heh.

So I did something crazy...

I got out all of my Heather Ross fabrics. ALL of them, all of the Mendocino and FFA2 and Munki and Lightning Bugs that I have been hoarding in scraps and bits for over a year...

And I started cutting! Oh yes, I did. Squares, 4.5" each. Lots of them. Some turned into triangles, some are staying square. What will they be? MY quilt. I decided it was high time I had a quilt of my own (to which the Madman says "It's about time! Dang!"), and what better to make than a quilt of some of my favorite fabrics ever? I have a whole week off from work (the Madman and I refer to it as "post holiday recuperation") and lots of time to sew. *happy dance!*

Oh, wait, this is supposed to be a stash report, right?

I'm counting fabric out as the tops and quilts are finished (or bee blocks, if pieced from stash), sooo...

Used this Week: 1.75 yards (yardage and scraps for bee blocks)
Used year to Date: 3.5 yards
Added this Week: 0
Added Year to Date: .75 yards
Net Used for 2011: 2.75 yards

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

I promised a finish...

And I'm delivering!

First finish of 2011, and I feel so good about this. You have no idea.

I started these blocks with no real goal in mind about a year ago. And lost interest after 5 blocks. Set them aside, and played with other things.

But with a friend's baby shower coming up (this Saturday, in fact), I got moving on this project again just after the first of the year.

Piecing, borders and basting on Saturday, quilting and binding on Sunday, and it was in the mail to Georgia on Monday. Sadly, I won't be able to join it for a little Southern-style party this weekend, but I'll be there in quilt and spirit!

It finished at about 36" x 45". And I love it.

Some of my favorite bits...

A bit of Pinocchio Munki, just the perfect color and size.

AB Coriander, Lizzy House Pearl Bracelet from Red Letter day, and Tula Pink Ladybugs...


Backed with this great argyle print from Riley Blake's Hooty Hoot line, and bound with my favorite KJR basketweave in aqua.

I went with a free-motion meander, which turned out a LOT better this time around. I did find that after switching bobbins once, I had some tension issues. That required some ripping, machine fiddling, and tension resetting, but ultimately fixed it. Only to break my darning foot. /facepalm Thankfully, the Madman got some crazy glue in his stocking this Xmas, and I used that to fix the foot. Everything else went according to plan!

Here's to hoping that my dear friend loves her quilt, and that her little boy-to-be will love it for years to come.

Now, onward to use the rest of my mid-week snow-day (we topped out at just over 18" here, though after a bit of sun it looks like we may get another bit of snow after all /sigh) for some more sewing!

Sunday, January 9, 2011

In the meantime...

While keeping track of my stash for 2011, I'm not counting my last two purchases of 2010, courtesy of Kathy at Pink Chalk Fabrics and Jackie at Canton Village Quilt Works. I have plans for a number of quilts involving solids, let's see how many I can finish in 2011!

Such a stack of loveliness...

Speaking of finishes, off to stitch the binding on my first finish-to-be of 2011. This is where I park to do my hand-stitching...

My end of the couch, cuddled up against the pillow I received from Kendra in round 4 of the flickr Pillow Talk Swap. I LOVE this pillow--such a bright little spot of sunshine! If you haven't seen Kendra's blog and all of the awesome craftiness this woman is capable of, go now! How she manages all she does, and three boys, too, I don't know. Thanks again, Kendra!!

Hopping on the Sunday Stash bandwagon...

Angela over at Cut to Pieces has issued a challenge. A fabric diet. As we looked at the new year, she said, "Hey, I have a lot of fabric. I know I'm not alone. I'm going to try not to buy any new fabric for 2 months. Who's with me?"

fabric diet challenge logo

That would be me. I have a lot of fabric. And I'd like to work pretty hard this year on using up some of what I have. I know I'll add some in the meantime, too, but perhaps I might try and keep track? So I'm going to join Judy of Patchwork Times and her Sunday Stash group to see if I can't keep up with what's actually going on with my stash.

I'm not telling you how much stash I'm starting with. I don't know, and I don't need to know! (Ok, I'm afraid to find out. I said it!!)

So, in the name of full disclosure, I'll start off by saying that I've already failed terribly! LOL Only a few days into the new year, and I added to my stash. Whoops! It's not actually here yet, but I figured out what I wanted to do with my 12 Days of Christmas charm pack (day late, dollar short, yeah, yeah, I know--always next year, right?). Only problem? I needed 2 charm packs to make the design I sketched out work. And I'm apparently enough of a dope that I bought only 1 charm pack to start out with. *sigh* So, I cruised Etsy and found one on super duper sale. And bought it.

It's not here yet, but I feel the need to confess! So I'm counting it as an add to my stash for this week.

But, there's a project in the works that is counting for some busting, too--pics of that soon! Sashing, backing and binding all are from my stash. Huzzah!

Used this Week: 1.75 yards
Used year to Date: 1.75 yards
Added this Week: .75 yards (1 charm pack)
Added Year to Date: .75 yards
Net Used for 2011: 1 yard

What about you all? Anyone else willing to take up Angela's and/or Judy's challenge?