Monthly Archives: July 2009

Quilting Progress Report: Schnookie Edition

I have been on such a productive quilting spree lately that I’ve been terribly remiss about stopping and actually documenting it. In the seven weeks since I finished Squaresville (and there will be an extensive photoshoot for it, I promise), I’ve pieced the entire top of Amy Butler’s Midwest Modern quilt (and didn’t take pictures of it because it had some serious issues that I’m hoping will be less apparent when I get it back from Mary the quilter) and started some serious inroads on projects about which I am extremely excited.

A Stack Of Progress

Every evening I shuffle through my stack of boxes before deciding which project I want to focus on. It can be difficult to choose. I love them all too much!

The most noticeable project I’m working on right now is Ugly City, the kit of wild Kaffe Fassett prints that shouldn’t work together but somehow do. When I say that it’s the most noticeable, I mean that it’s probably visible from outer space. It’s very spicy. And while I can assure you that it’s also stunningly gorgeous in person, it seems to be wildly unphotogenic, because no matter how I try to take pictures of it, they all end up looking monstrous.

Ugly City, On July 25

I’m a MOOOOOONNNNN-STER!

If I was really focused and bearing down, Ugly City would be done by now. It’s going up in quite a hurry, because, I guess, the wilder the fabrics, the simpler the construction. There are 20 blocks that make up the center of the quilt, and I’ve got 11 of them pieced already, with the other nine about halfway done. Of course, I discovered as I was laying the squares out for this picture that I was supposed to have selected four squares to go on the corner posts of the outer border, and I neglected to do that. So it would probably be more accurate to report that I have 11 of the 20 done, with the other nine halfway done, less the four I’m going to have to tear out, plus the four not-meant-to-be-the-corner-posts pieces that haven’t been worked on at all yet. In other words, it’s not as far along as I had hoped. Which is a good thing, because I am thoroughly enjoying working on this quilt, and don’t want to be done with it any time soon. I want to savor the ugly.

Halloween Cats

Squeeeee!!!!

Since I had decided to not race through Ugly City, I was able to make an impulse purchase when I first spotted Sheri Berry’s “Trick or Treat Street” line of Halloween prints. Now, I am not a huge fan of Halloween, and kind of figured I wouldn’t be the kind of person who makes seasonal quilts, but as soon as I saw those little cats with their trick or treat bags, I tossed that notion right out the window. I’m calling this project “SQUEEEEE!!! City”.

Halloween Quilt

When I’m working on this, I’m normally emitting a squeal of delight that is so high-pitched only dogs can hear it.

It’s a simple nine-patch of 2 1/2-inch squares that I’m going to sash with black and have the orange brocade as post squares. I’m going to border the whole thing with a random edging of the 2 1/2-inch squares. In other words, simple, quick, adorable, and exactly the kind of piecing I love to do.

Halloween Bat & Devil

You can’t hear it, but I’m squealing just looking at it right now. All the dogs in the neighborhood are barking. It’s just so cute!!

Finally, and most surprisingly, I’m working on my Figgy Pudding quilt again.

Figgy Pudding on July 25

I know! Shut up! It’s true!

When Pookie and I first got the quilting bug last December, Boomer was delighted to produce from the depths of her stash two kits that we had apparently picked out. Pookie’s was the sassy, spicy Merry Go Round and mine was this snoresville grandma-print kit of a Fig Tree Quilts project. It was their Figgy Pudding pattern, with their Dandelion Girl line of fabric. It’s a very lovely quilt, but as a newly-minted fabric enthusiast, it bored me to tears. I wanted spicy. I wanted adventure. I wanted to be just like Pookie.

So I put Figgy Pudding away, weakly insisting that sure, I’d totally get back to it someday. I spun some sort of bogus excuse that the fabrics were too autumnal, and what I really wanted back in January was something that would feel all newer, better life or even Springtimey. Figgy Pudding became my shameful secret.

Not Spicy

Zzzzzzzz City

So fast forward to mid-July, and imagine my surprise when, in the middle of happily puttering away on Ugly City and SQUEEEEE!!! City, I suddenly felt an undeniable urge to resume work on Figgy Pudding. It turns out I was right — I was going to come back to it as soon as I was hit with autumnlonging again!

Faux Spicy

It’s a tiny bit spicy… if you squint…

And that’s where I’m at now. Figgy Pudding’s squares are almost halfway completed, and then there’s all manner of sashing to put in around them, so it’s still a substantial project. Ugly City is only probably a couple of weeks of hard work from being done. And SQUEEEE!!! City is just for fun anyway — goodness only knows if I’ll plan on enjoying working on it during the Halloween season, or try to have it finished for it. Whatever I decide, I’m really enjoying where I’m at in my works in progress!

[Posted by Schnookie]

Advertisements

11 Comments

Filed under Pins and Needles, Progress Reports, Quilting

It’s a Bird, It’s a Plane…

… It’s a post on IPB Living that’s not about gardening or cooking or quilting! Good grief! And what, pray tell, is so earth-shatteringly fabulous to warrant such a ground-breaking post? Why, my new alarm clock, of course!

Meet, the American Innovative Neverlate 7-Day Alarm Clock, aka the Nevernudelatetron 3000.

I Love My Alarm Clock

Isn’t she a beaut?

Here’s the deal, Gentle Reader. In any given work week, I will work three different shifts, with three different wake-up times: 6:45, 7:15, 8:30(ish). Now, nothing’s more depressing that settling in for a night’s sleep only to realize you need to roll your alarm back from 8:30 to 6:45. So I got an alarm clock with two alarms, one which was permanently set to 6:45 and the other which was only mildly depressing most of the time (but man, switching from weekends with a 10:45 alarm back to 7:15? Killer!). It seemed like a perfectly cromulent alarm clock when I purchased it. Until it got dark, that is. Then I realized my alarm clock could double as a Coast Guard search light. And the radio was like a tell-tale heart. There was no switch to turn it off, all I could do was turn the volume as low as it could go. So there was a constant — and I mean constant — static buzz emitting from the thing. Some nights it would seem to me to be as loud as a roiling sea or a construction zone or the Jumbotron during the playoffs in Carolina. For some reason I decided it was my lot in life to have an obnoxiously bright, obnoxiously loud alarm clock.

Finally, one fateful night I decided I just could not take it one more second! Last time around I did research on which alarm clocks were preferred. Fat lot of good that did me. So this time I went to Amazon and plugged in “alarm clock”. It must have been fate that made me see the words “7-day alarm clock” buried in the customer review of some other, lesser offering.

Me: “7-day alarm clock? 7-day alarm clock?!

The Universe: “Yes, Pookie. One alarm for each day. One for each crazy shift you work!”

Me: “Get outta town on a bus!”

The Universe: “Negatory! Just buy the alarm clock.”

Me: “You got it!”

7 Days of Alarms

Shazam! 7 alarms!

This treasure arrived in the mail on Wednesday, so perhaps I should wait until I’ve seen all seven days of alarms in action before proclaiming from upon high that this is the greatest alarm clock EVAH but whatevs. It’s true. This is the greatest alarm clock EVAH. The display is soft and gentle. I couldn’t find a single lost ship at sea using only it as illumination! And the radio? Perfectly silent. I may completely forget it even has a radio option! The alarm buzzer itself is pleasant but insistent. The cube-like shape is spunky and cute!

And best of all, I will never again have the depressing feeling of turning back an alarm to 6:45 or 7:15. I will simply set Wednesdays and Thursdays to 6:45, Tuesdays and Fridays to 7:15, and Monday to 8:30ish. And I’ll never look back. Thank you, Nevernudelate. Thank you for making my life a better place to wake up in.

4 Comments

Filed under Pommerdoodling, Stuff Around Maple Hoo

Quilting Progress Report: Pookie Edition

My last quilting progress report was two months ago; I had just finished binding “Merry Go Round” and piecing the top for “Prairie Gothic”. Since then, I’ve finished… nothing. Nothing at all. But I have had a lots of irons in the fire, and have been expanding my pipeline of projects well into next year.

First up, I finished “Prairie Gothic”. Mary, the long-arm quilter, used a fabulous variegated thread and chose a really funky pattern that compliments the fabric perfectly. I picked a cute blue picnic blanket check for the binding, and couldn’t be happier with the finished results!

June 7 2009

Prairie Gothic Quilting 1

As with “Merry Go Round”, my one problem with it is that it’s a strange size. I’ve been using it as a summer lap quilt because I wanted to be able to gaze adoringly at the awesome fabrics while watching tv, but it’s really just way too large for that. It keeps dragging on the floor and getting filthy. So, clearly, I need to work on figuring out how to make my quilts sized right for the job I want them to do.

I noted in my last progress report that “Prairie Gothic” was too quick and easy to make, that I wanted a quilt that would take forever. I found it in “Broken Dishes” and eagerly got started on that. After 6 weeks or so, I had gotten this far (plus one more block not pictured):

Broken Dishes Progress Report July

And then I stopped. Heh. It’s actually a really fun pattern, and each block goes up much quicker than you’d expect (even when you’re piecing by hand). But… I needed a break. This one is, indeed, going to take forever! I think part of my problem is the fabric seems like it should be cold outside while I’m working with it. It’s not a summertime project, at all.

No, the project I had earmarked for summer way back in February when I bought the fabrics for it is “Magic Carpet”. I fell in love with “Midwest Modern II” when it was prominently displayed at Pennington Quilt Works, and knew I just had to have it. I mean, look at how summery and fun these colors are:

Stack Of Squares

I chose the “Magic Carpet” pattern from American Jane and spent all of late-winter and spring looking forward to a time when it would be appropriately sunny and warm out to be using these fabrics. Of course, this summer has turned out so that it’s felt like early fall all along, ruining my perfectly laid plans This has also led to me having strange mood-swings with this quilt. Some days I love it and think it’s fabulous. Others I hate it and think I chose the wrong fabrics, in particular the darker blues.

Magic Carpet Progress Report July

When all is said and done, though, I think I love it. I love the wacky 16 patch area where the corners meet, and I really do love the fabrics and the scrappy feel. I’m getting very close to the stretch run, too, having completed 23 out of 36 blocks! It’ll be finished in no time…

… provided I stop dabbling in other projects like this:

Christmas Quilt Progress Report July

When I first started quilting (ages ago… way back in December!) I was fairly certain I’d not fall prey to any seasonal stuff. I just sort of assumed no one would make nice seasonal fabrics. Boy, was I wrong! Turns out there are all kinds of fun, fucky, cool, and even classy seasonal prints for Halloween and Christmas. What a pleasant surprise! After much deliberation, I chose “Have a Sheri Berry Holiday” to make a quilt just for Christmastime.

Have a Sherri Berry Holiday

One of my favorite moments at Christmastime is divvying up the presents on Christmas morning. Boomer and Schnookie sip mimosas while I carefully stack all the presents on each recipient’s footstool. Now, imagine having an adorably cute retro quilt on said footstool! What could be better? I’m using a free sawtooth star pattern I found on Sew, Mama Sew. It’s so quick and easy, it’s the perfect project for dabbling in while working on other stuff.

I’m becoming very attracted to the idea of dabbling in all kinds of quilts all at the same time. As of right now, I have made a small-to-medium amount of progress on “Magic Carpet”, “Darla”, “Neptune”, “Broken Dishes”, and now this Christmas quilt, and yet I’m not anxious to have any of them done any time soon. I think I’m finally putting my money where my mouth is when I say I’m a process crafter. All this dabbling, though, as encouraged me to continue to add new projects to my pipeline so that I always have something fresh and new to dabble in when the time comes.

On her trip over here last month, KtG picked out all the materials for me and Schnookie to make her a quilt of hexagons with appliqued details, but I think that one will be perfectly suited to working on during hockey games (it’s all just big medium-length straight seams). Recently, I added the materials to make the absolutely stunning “Deer Valley” quilt. I’m excited to learn how to do circles, and the fabric just screams “early hockey season” to me. So that’s on hold until cooler weather (and until I am no longer scared of circle templates). I also couldn’t resist the siren song of “Red Letter Day”, so I snatched up enough of that to make a pinwheel lap quilt.

Red Letter Day Stash

Schnookie commented to me that it’s odd that I haven’t broken into it yet to start working with it. I wish she wouldn’t encourage me like that. I could take just a little nibble… Make just one pinwheel… Look at those colors! Sheesh, but this quilting thing is so hard to stay on target. I can’t think of a better craft for me to learn to just let go and enjoy having all kinds of fun projects, which will unfold at whatever pace suits me. Just like I pledged to do in my crafting New Year’s Resolution.

10 Comments

Filed under Pins and Needles, Progress Reports, Quilting