Sunday, November 9, 2014

Some Toy Story Sewing

So I had a secret project that I was working on a few weeks ago that I am finally able to share. My friend had planned a surprise Disney cruise for her boyfriend's 30th birthday and wanted to participate in the "Fish Extender" gift exchange. The FE gift exchange is organized by those attending the same Disney cruise as you who want to make/buy fun gifts and leave them as little surprises outside your state room cabin. You hang a bag on the brass fish that is just outside your cabin which is why they call it a fish extender.

I made one for my family when we went on our 2nd Disney cruise last May. We'll be using it again for our upcoming holiday cruise in December.

My friend Kara loves all things Toy Story and wanted to make her fish extender with Buzz and Jessie pockets. With a little bit of fabric, 2 dog costumes, and a lot of creativity, we came up with this:

The most labor intensive part of this project was the names. I don't have an embroidery machine so the letters are all done free-hand. I found a font that I liked, printed it out on paper, traced it in pencil onto fabric, and then started stitching. The 2 names took about 3 and a half hours. The alien was a pre-made patch so that was just sewn on afterwards.

Overall, I'm very pleased with how it turned out. They are on their cruise as I type this so I hope they're having fun and getting lots of fun goodies.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Lilacs & Lavender

It's such a great feeling to finish a quilt that's been in the making for over a year now. I started this quilt in July 2013, just 2 weeks before moving to Florida. I finished piecing the top in October 2013 and it only took me a year to get it quilted. Okay, that's not exactly true, but it did take me a few months to improv piece the backing.  Jump ahead to September of this year when I finally pulled this project out of the closet and basted it but then let it sit for another 2 weeks before figuring out how to quilt it. So happy it's finally done. Introducing Lilacs & Lavender:

Had some weird shadows and light in this location.

I chose this name not only because of all of the purples, but it also represents my mom and me. She loved lilacs (and passed that love on to me) and I love fresh lavender. It makes me sad that Florida heat and humidity prevent me from planting either in our yard.

The colors in this photo are pretty accurate.

As I quilted this, I made the decision to NOT quilt in any of the white areas, except for a few echo outlines of the white squares. I stitched in the ditch around all of the white sashing and white triangles. I know this might sound odd, but I wanted the white to pop off the quilt. Most people want the individual blocks to pop, but me, I have to go against the grain.

I was really paranoid about washing this quilt given some of the dark blues and deep purples. After I completed quilting it, I realized that my white extension table was tinted purple from the backing fabric so I was positive that it was going to bleed all over the nice white sashing when I washed it so I used 7 color catchers. Turns out I was paranoid for no reason. All 7 color catchers came out of the washer without any color on them. Go figure. Better safe than sorry. Looking forward to cuddling up with this on the couch.

Linking up to these link parties.

Monday, November 3, 2014

Hi-ho! Kermit the Frog Here!

It's not easy being green but my son sure did his best. This was my easiest costume so far and one of the cutest. All it took was a trip to the consignment shop to find a green pair of pants, a green sweatshirt (the fact that Kermit was on the front was purely coincidental), a foam ball for the eyes, and some green mesh.

He had a blast trick-or-treating and we had perfect weather, in the low 70's. My son thought this electric pumpkin was very cool.

Now that Halloween is done, it's time to get into full-blown holiday mode around here. I just love autumn!

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Blogger's Quilt Festival Entry: Triangles on Parade

Can't believe how fast this year has gone and that the Blogger's Quilt Festival, hosted by Amy at Amy's Creative Side, is already here. I didn't think I would be entering anything this year but I'm just so proud of my Triangles on Parade quilt that I decided to enter it into the Modern Quilts category. I had such a fun time working on this quilt. I love how the unusual layout and white rows really gives it a modern look. Plus the quilting in the white really makes the negative space triangles really pop.

I hope you like it too. You can read more this quilt here.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Worker Bees Needed!

Looking for a fun online bee to join for next year? Why not join the 2015 Stash Bee! Stash Bee consists of multiple hives, each containing 11 hive members and running for 11 months (January-November). All hive members create blocks from their own fabric stash and are not required to buy specific fabric to complete the block. This is a bee that is open to all levels of quilters and is international friendly with each hive having a few non-US members.

 You can find out more info at the Stash Bee website or click here to sign up. Sounds like a lot of fun and I hope you'll consider joining too. Who knows, we might end up in the same hive!

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Random Catch-up

How is it possible that I've gone 2 weeks without blogging? I kept meaning to, and would have the beginnings of posts forming in my head but I just never got around to composing them. Guess I should catch you up.

I've made lots of progress on my accuracy quilt and I'm over half done. A feather variation has been the underlying theme, being quilted on all of the triangular spaces. For some reason, I've decided to not quilt most of the white fabric, opting to stitch-in-the-ditch so that it will pop more, especially the pin wheels. That decision involved picking out a large section which I had previously quilted. Here are a few close-ups.

I'm looking forward to getting back to working on this quilt and possibly finishing it this weekend. I've been helping a friend with a secret sewing project so this was put on the back burner. Now that her project is done, I can get back to my quilt. As soon as I'm able, I'll share more about that other project.

There's been lots of family stuff going on as well like school, potty-training, volunteering, and trips to Walt Disney World. I'm also starting back to work on a limited part-time basis but it's still a bit intimidating to me after being out of the work-force for 5 years.

Lastly, I've become engrossed in a book. It's been a LONG time since I've read a book that grabs me from the first few pages and makes it hard for me to put down. I know it's good when I'd rather be reading instead of sewing. The book is Divergent by Veronica Roth. About a month ago, I saw a movie trailer for it (apparently it was released in March 2014 but I don't get to the movies very much). Something about it intrigued me and when it said it was based on the best-selling novel I decided to add it to my kindle queue. I started reading it this past weekend and I'm really enjoying it. And with that, enough blogging - I need to get back to my book!

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

"One Little Spark..."

"...of inspiration, is at the heart of all creation."  That is the theme song to my son's favorite ride at Epcot, Journey into Imagination. It's a really dated ride and makes me want to jab sharp objects into my ears, but I tolerate it since it brings my son so much joy.

And the song had the ring of truth for me this week when trying to find my sewing groove. I don't need to have all the answers and know exactly what I'm going to quilt everywhere. I just needed a little something to get my creative process flowing. And it came in the unlikely form of mundane office supplies - sheet protectors and markers. But not just any markers though, they're my son's Crayola window markers. They dry fast and come off with the wipe of a damp paper towel (or even the scratch of a finger nail). I took pictures of the individual blocks, enlarged them onto a word document and now I have an easy way to test out different designs.

I still don't have it all figured out but that's okay. It was enough to get me back at the sewing machine.


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