Friday, April 26, 2013

Kindle Case!

As promised, here is what I managed to get finished this week:

quilted kindle case

This isn't the best picture, I know. But I made it for my sister and had about a minute to snap a photo the night she came over for dinner and things. Ah, well. You get the idea, right? It's a little quilted case for her Kindle so it doesn't get so banged up in her purse. I bought these adorable buttons from Pick Your Plum and decided to design the whole case around that. Well, plus some green. I thought it would be nice for the button to be sitting in a little puddle of a different color for contrast :)

I did a flap instead of a zipper so the button would have a real purpose. Although now I'm thinking maybe I should have done both... I have this feeling my sister will just not bother actually closing the flap properly and the Kindle will fall out into her purse, anyway. Oh well. I tried, right? I didn't get a good picture of the inside, but it's just lined with the same pink fabric as the top stripe. I free motion quilted it with some little loops, which I love. I really need to make myself one of these! Or two, really, since I now have a work iPad. Weird. I usually don't like Apple products much. I mean, why should I pay hundreds of dollars more for a device that was made in the same terrible Chinese factories where every other similar device was made that pay their workers next to nothing and force them to work in awful conditions? Not worth it in my opinion. But work is work and I must learn to use it!

I also have a progress shot for you!

pinwheel blocks

Three happy little pinwheels. I love the way they're turning out so far :) I am going to do a few more colorful ones to see how they'll all look. Then my whole pile of low volume charms will be turned into pinwheels. YAY! :D

Okay. Must get ready for work and all that now. Hope you have a wonderful Friday and a fabulous weekend!

Linking up to Finish it Up Friday at Crazy Mom Quilts!

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

WiP Wednesday

First of all...


Anyway. I didn't catch up on my BOM blocks this past weekend... again. I know. For shaaaame. But it'll be okay. It isn't like anyone is relying on me for this, so I am only disappointing myself ;)

Instead, I decided to start a new quilt!

bright solid squares

It doesn't look like much yet, but these bright squares are going to be paired with my low volume charms to make a whole lot of pinwheels! I might be crazy. That's a lot of HSTs to make. But I think it will look so cool when it's done. So I am forging ahead!

That's all today. Just a quick little update. I should have a cute little finish to share with you Friday, though, so stay tuned!

Linking up with WiP Wednesday with Lee at Freshly Pieced!

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Recovering!

Wow, what a crazy week! It was my first week at my new job and it was busy. Training and tours and paperwork and soooo many introductions and a bazillion other things. It was a long week. And yet, somehow, I managed to get a few little things done!

First, I made these cute new pot holders for myself. I decided to use the March Sister's Ten blocks so I would be catching up on that and making something useful. I really love how they turned out.

quilted pot holders


I used the same binding technique as my scrappy trip quilt, but I think I did much better on the quilt! I don't know why this was so much harder for me. Maybe because these were thicker than the quilt. Oh well. I still love them :) I added a pocket on the back, too. I have discovered I like that style of pot holder.

I also made this cute little zipper pouch wristlet for work! After the first two days I decided I really needed something little to carry around my phone, a pen, maybe a couple sticks of gum, and my keys while I am away from my desk. Girl pants are just not conducive to holding so much in my pockets. So I made this:

wristlet

wristlet- inside

That second picture ended up really bright, huh? Oops! But it is just the right size to carry around all the little things I need from meeting to meeting without filling up my tiny pockets. It was also a very satisfying finish because it only took about an hour start to finish! I will definitely be making more of these types of things. Maybe next time I'll use an actual tutorial, though ;) I would like pointier corners.

And finally, I caught up on my bee blocks with this guy.

hst block- newbee quilters

I just love how it turned out! So bright and happy :) I am also super proud of how pointy all my points are and how well they line up! I think this is my best bee block yet! I am definitely getting better. I will be getting this guy in the mail sometime this week.

I am still adjusting to my new schedule. Definitely not used to working full time anymore. But it has been good getting out of the house every day. And now I know I can still make time for sewing, even if it is just little things this week :) I hope to catch up on my skill builder blocks this weekend. Well, at least the March blocks. The April ones are hexies and another one that requires templates and things. I totally forgot to buy mine, so they are definitely going to be late. Oh well.

Hope you're having a fantastic weekend! I am going to go take a cake out of the oven- YUM.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Scrappy Trip Along Quilt- Finished!!

So I achieved my goal of finishing my Scrappy Trips quilt before I started my big girl job- I even had almost a whole week to spare! I'm getting pretty good at cranking out a quilt in a couple of weeks ;) I bet it will be much harder with a full time job, though.

I wanted to get some pretty photos because I really LOVE this quilt. It needed something more special than the oil-spotted rocks in my front yard (hazards of living with a "car guy"). So I took it to the Poetry Center. I've mentioned the Poetry Center before, right? It's where I did my internship last fall, where I spent a lot of time as a poetry-writing and studying undergrad, and it's where I've been volunteering for the past few weeks. I love the Poetry Center. It's a really fantastic place for so many reasons. The staff is absolutely wonderful. They have an enormous collection of poetry, including some really rare small run books and some awesome one of a kind artist books. They also have a huge photo collection featuring poets from the very famous (Alice Walker) to the very obscure (The Dark Bob).  If you live near or in Tucson and like poetry at all, you should visit this excellent facility. Or you know, if you just want a quiet, comfortable place to read or knit. They have the best furniture.

But you came for the quilt, so I'll shut up and show you some pictures.

scrappy trip along goes to the poetry center

You can see some of the shelves in this picture. So much poetry! And this couch? So comfy.

scrappy trip along in the poetry center garden

This might be my favorite part of the Poetry Center, though- the garden. Shaded and quiet with a little fountain for atmosphere. Great place to read or contemplate the poem you were supposed to write last week that is due in an hour ;)

scrappy trip along in the poetry center garden

I really love this quilt from every angle. All those little squares playing so happily together... I went with a neutral binding in Kona Ash so as not to detract from all the pretty fabrics in the top. I really love how it turned out! I even used a new binding method, courtesy of Red Pepper Quilts. It isn't perfect, but I think it will look much better with more practice!

scrappy trip along- top

scrappy trip along- back

My favorite part. Well, I don't know if it's my favorite, exactly, but the back is pretty fantastic. I didn't have enough of any one fabric for the backing, so I decided to piece it together from solids and near solids, most of which were also used on the front. Then, because I had a few "tubes" left with enough fabric on them for one more cutting of squares that I decided to put a nice stripe down the middle. I LOVE that it turned out exactly like I imagined it! It adds something special to the already super special quilt. I almost wish I had made it big enough for my bed just so I could sleep under this magnificence, but then I don't think my backing would have worked out so perfectly.

scrappy trip along- back

See all the happy little squares? Eee! Love :) You can see how I quilted it here, too- an on-point grid in every other row. I didn't want to do every row for two reasons- 1. I didn't want the quilting to be too dense and 2. I wanted the lines to meet at the corners rather than in the middle of the squares. I'm glad I went with it!

So, there you have it. Another finished quilt for me! :) Yay! I have no money at all for fabric right now or I'd probably be starting another... I guess I have no excuses now not to catch up on my bee and BOM blocks, huh? ;) Thanks for stopping by!

Linking up to Finish it Up Friday at Crazy Mom Quilts!

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Sleepy Sunday Updates

Why, hello!

It has been a while. I apologize. I just didn't want to keep showing you scrappy trip pictures, which is all I have been working on sewing-wise. But then today while sitting on the couch, enjoying an older episode of Doctor Who and knitting, I thought, why not take pictures of my knitting? Yes, knitting! I thought I would be a crochet girl for life, but I have seen so many beautiful pictures of things bloggy people have knit (knitted?) for friends and family and selves that I just had to jump on board. I do have a set of needles, after all, from an unsuccessful foray into knitting my freshman year of college. It was hard. I just didn't get it. But I thought maybe since my fingers are so quick with yarn and hook now that maybe they'd be able to catch on to using needles much easier.

honey cowl progress

My theory held! I caught on so much faster this time around. I don't know why it was so difficult for me when I was 18, but I'm glad I've gotten over it :) I took a picture of the wrong side because I fail, but this will eventually be my very own Honey Cowl. I know what you're thinking. "But Anna," you say, a bewildered expression on your face, "don't you live in the desert? Doesn't that mean cowl-wearing weather passed over a month ago?" Well. Yes. That's true. But living in the heat has never stopped me from making yarny delicious things. And besides, I know the library I am going to be working for. I have spent many hours perusing the stacks, looking for the perfect lit crit book, studying, typing, doing group projects, and just escaping the heat for a few minutes before class. It is cold in there. Trust me. I don't know exactly what my day to day will look like yet, but if there is any sitting around at all, I will certainly need a cowl and maybe some new wrist warmers and a few more cardigans and some knit socks and maybe a few other things... So don't worry. My homemade items will likely still be used frequently.

yarn bag runneth over
My yarn bag runneth over...
I think I may need multiple yarn bags now. One for crochet and one for knitting... This is getting a little full!

rainbow box blanket sans rainbow

Because see? I am definitely still crocheting. These lovelies are made using this pattern from The Purl Bee. Obviously mine will be quite different. Hers is a rainbow of colors with white frames. Mine is two-tone. She also used lighter weight, much fancier (and more expensive) merino wool. Mine is cheap worsted weight acrylic a friend bought me for my birthday. But I don't care. It is still going to be fantastic when it's finished! I just love the look of these circles in squares, don't you? I love, too, that they finish up at about 7". That's going to be much easier to manage than the 4.5" she had listed as the finished size. I tried making an afghan out of squares that small.. No. Too many squares. It was also incredibly frustrating because I used two granny square patterns I thought were compatible but were not at all... But that's another project that is safely tucked away somewhere until my anger at it has dissipated somewhat...

I will, of course, show you one picture of my scrappy trip progress, though...

scrappy trip along quilting progress

It is half quilted. WOO! It might be totally quilted now if I hadn't run out of thread halfway through. I knew that was going to happen... but did I run out and buy more thread when I realized I wouldn't have enough and save myself the headache later? No. Of course not. Instead I took a late night trip to Joann, which is on the other side of town, of course (well, not *that* late). But by the time I got back all I felt like doing was sitting in front of the TV, watching Captain Jack Harkness strut his stuff, and working on my cowl. Then this morning I got a weird cleaning bug and totally cleared off the incredibly neglected patio. My neighbor has pomegranate trees that lean over it and there are always SO MANY LEAVES. Always. All year. It's ridiculous. So sometimes I go months without sweeping them up because it's such a never ending (and losing) battle. But now it's all swept up- just in time for the brush and bulky trash pick up. Go me! I also cleared off Mario's "work table" that was covered in tree bits and nuts and bolts and almost a whole (rusty now) tool set and claimed it for myself. He hasn't used it in 2 years. That's the rule. Two years with no use and it becomes mine or it becomes trash. I'm going to put plants on it :)

I think I have definitely earned my crafting time today, don't you? If you need me, I'll  be quilting...

Linking up to Plum and June's Let's Get Acquainted Monday linky party, hosted this week by Nat at Made In Home! It is definitely one of my favorite linky parties. I always get to see so many new blogs :)

Monday, April 1, 2013

Progress and Un-progress...

Well, I didn't achieve my sewing goals this weekend. I spent a lot of time with family and friends and even did some much needed spring cleaning, though. So I think it was worth it.

I really did no sewing at all, though. My pile of scrappy trip blocks is still just a pile. I did at least square up the ones that needed squaring. And re-sewed one block because it was waaaay crooked. It was the last block I made. Guess I was a little tired by that point, huh?

So today, I could've gotten more work on my scrappy trip done. But after spending so much time cleaning my sewing room, stashing away all the scraps and leftover strips and putting everything back on the shelf, I just didn't feel like it. I also haven't decided on a thread color for quilting, which is annoying. Now I'm thinking yellow. Or maybe yellow going one direction and red the other. Hmmm... or maybe green and yellow. AHH! I can't decide and it's really putting a damper on my scrappy trip excitement :/

To cheer myself up about my lack of scrappy tripping, I decided what I really needed was a nice, quick project. So I made a skirt.

rotary cut skirt

Purdy, huh? I was pretty please with how it turned out. I even installed an invisible zipper in the back! It's not really invisible because I didn't really know what I was doing, but it shows way less than a regular zipper would! I count that as a win :) To make the skirt, I used the tutorial over at Lily's Quilts. She just kept posting adorable skirts on Instagram and I decided I just had to give it a shot! It really wasn't hard at all. The zipper was probably the hardest part. I used some twill I got in this weird color... It looked more purple on the interwebs and when it came in the mail I wrinkled my nose. But it's really growing on me now that it's a skirt! We'll see if I can find anything in my wardrobe that actually looks good with it, though. My goal is to make a few skirts or maybe dresses I can wear to my new job.

That's what I did today. How was your Monday?

Linking up to Let's Get Aqcuainted hosted over at From Pixels to Patchwork today and Sew Cute Tuesday at Better Off Thread!
Better Off Thread