Monday, February 27, 2012


It's been awhile since I've posted, and there's not even a reason for it! I have been doing a lot of subbing the past few weeks, and sewing, which I'm excited about, but other than that, there's absolutely no reason why I shouldn't be posting. I guess maybe because I have to take more (and better) pictures of all my projects, both finished and in progress. And maybe because I have a mac now, and my camera won't upload pictures onto it, so I have to put them on my old laptop, then transfer them to a flash drive, then upload them to the Mac (problems, problems). And also because I'm laaaazy. And waiting, always waiting, for my dissertation drafts to come back from my committee so I can edit them, overnight them, and wait for more rounds of editing. It's a terrible, awful, gut-wrenching process. I. Hate. It.

I've been waiting for a month and still nothing. Oi. Hopefully I get them soon, but at the same time, I'm glad I don't have to work on it. It's a frustrating/confusing process.

Anywho, that's all for now. I should post pictures of my quilts, and drawstring bags, and the AMAAAAZING (in my opinion) pillow I made this weekend. And I will. Later....

But here's a pic to sum up my mood...

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Begin at the Beginning

Today I thought I'd backtrack a bit and share my first quilt. This quilt was years in the making. It began when I was in middle school--maybe 13 or 14? I frequently went with my grandma to stay with my aunt in the Upper Peninsula (U.P. for non-Mitten folks) and we would shop and antique and eat delicious sweets. It was on one of these trips that I started taking notice of all the amazing quilts my aunt had made all over the house. She was an amazing quilter and she offered to teach me.

I vaguely remember choosing fabric (her stash was beyond belief) and having her teach me to sew on the sewing machine. I pieced rows together and cut them into a simple patchwork. I left with it being mostly finished and never saw the quilt again.

Until two years ago when, when I was home for Christmas, I opened a box and there it was! Finished, quilted, and just as I remembered! I was so excited to see it again. My aunt had finished it for me and sent it to me as a great surprise.

 Look at the quilting! I've never had anything long-arm quilted before, but my aunt had this one sent out. It's so beautiful to look at the details.

I have since started using it on our bed. I always thought quilts were too delicate or precious to be used, so it sat in a box for a few years until I figured, if I spent the time making it, why not display it? It's definitely getting good use....

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Mini-sewing Saturday

I Accomplished something on my to-do list today. My boyfriend was off filming a short film all day for a local film festival, and as it was cold and snowy and I am in-between dissertation drafts, I decided to do some sewing.

  • Make (several) mini quilts/blocks to hang around the house

I had originally intended to find a quilt pattern I liked and just make one block for a mini wall-hanging. I had picked up a bunch of old quilt magazines at an antique store last weekend for $1 each and I looked through them all again this morning. I found a pattern in every one that I could see hanging on the wall. So, I took my magazines, my laptop, and my coffee and went downstairs to get started.

As soon as I started getting out scraps, I came across a piece of brown toile that I knew I had to sew with. Disclaimer: I LOVE toile. I can't get enough of it, but I hardly have any because, well, it costs $$, which I don't have much of right now. So, the precious bit I had, I wanted to use wisely. I started sewing and cutting and this is what I ended up with:

It didn't turn out quite like I intended, but I'm pretty happy with it. Afterall, it IS my very first mini ever. It lays kind of crooked so I think I should have ironed the whole thing once I was finished. It's now happily installed in the bathroom. I just quilted straight lines on all the seams. The toile was a remnant from Hobby Lobby and the white roses I had. The green is a beautiful print from Sandy Gervais (my growing favorite fabric designer), Grand Finale.

But that's not all! I made another. It was so much fun making the first, I had to keep going. This one was a wonky block built around a scrap of Heather Ross's Far Far Away III (I think). Princess and the Pea. Other fabrics were from FFA, Sandy Gervais, Joel Dewberry, and Amy Butler I think. I'm so bad with remembering fabric lines. Anywho, this one was quilted on the seams as well. It hangs in our bedroom hallway. I'm seriously in love with this one.

Maple likes this one too. Can't you tell??

Friday, February 10, 2012

To do list....

It's cold and snowy here in The Mitten. Friday night and I'm home with my dog Maple who won't stop whining! This isn't new for her, it's just annoying for me :) My boyfriend is out with his friends, and as I'm a perpetual hermit and lately prefer the company of my sewing machine, I figure it's a good compromise to stay warm inside while he battles the snow and icy roads.

I had to replace my sewing machine belt this afternoon so I could finish binding a quilt I was working on. (No pictures yet as I wait for said boyfriend to take some decent pictures on his fancy camera). After the quilt was finished, I finally decided to clean up my sewing/craft/junk deposit room. I live in my grandparents old house and use my grandma's ancient Kenmore with built-in cabinet. I love this machine. I learned to sew on it a few months ago, and it's sturdy, and sentimental. I feel close to Grandma when I sew on it. But it's still frustrating, unpredictable, and finicky. The room the cabinet is in is in our freezing cold basement, and is tiny and cluttered. When I moved into this room, I put every single bit of craft-related anything I had accumulated over the course of the past year that I've lived here and none of it it has moved since.

Empty jars, bottles, spray paint, vintage sheets I've collected, boxes of...stuff. All sitting under the stairs and making me feel cluttered and claustrophobic. So I decided to organize tonight. I feel better when I clean, but avoid it like the plague... such a conundrum. It only took an hour or so of shifting, moving, hiding, and organizing, but it looks like a whole new space. Now, I can walk around the room, sit and stare lovingly at my growing stash of fabric and sheets, and open drawers and boxes that have never before been opened. Such a great feeling!

As I was feeling so inspired but not ready to start a new project tonight, I decided to make a list of projects  I'd like to tackle sometime in the near future. Here are a few:
  • make burp cloths for a friend's baby shower
  • Attempt a "Swoon" quilt block 
  • Make (several) mini quilts/blocks to hang around the house
  • Learn to read a pattern so I can make bags/purses
  • Make more drawstring bags with this amazing tutorial 
  • Learn how to paper piece (very hesitant about this one)
  • Make half-square triangles --sounds simple, but I can currently only measure 1/2 and 1/4 inches so I have some issues to work out ;)
That's kind of it for now. There's more, but I think this is long enough. I'll (hopefully) be able to update and post pictures as I tackle each of these items. Hope you stick around to see my progress....

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

A drop in the bucket

Well, I took the plunge and started a blog. I've been thinking about, talking about it, stalking other blogs to learn about it, and now I've done it. I started crafting last summer when I found the amazingness that is garage sales. Shortly thereafter, I stumbled upon blogland and finally found the courage to make my first quilt. Now, 6 months later, I'm fully submerged in the quilty/crafty/ thrifty world and love every second of it. If I could, I'd do it everyday, all day. But, I can't. So...this blog will hopefully enable me to live in the dreamworld a bit longer. I'm hoping to chronicle my journey in crafting, quilting--mistakes, successes, frustrations, and $$ I don't have spent on fabric--and other, random escapes from real life of dissertation-writing and lesson planning and stress. So, thanks for stopping by and checking out my Chronicles... I hope you enjoy your time here as much as I do!