Wednesday, February 28, 2007

finished!

I finished up my brick path quilt last night! So glad to have it finished! I was slow on the upstart with the free motion quilting because my needle kept breaking...but, I got the right sized needles and avoided the safety pins and it was smooth sailing after that. The finished size is about 72"x72" and it's enjoying it's home in our living room.



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Here's the post wash/dry cycle crinkle...love the crinkle!

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I used the green paisley print for the backing...you can never have enough paisley, right? I've used the binding method from the Modern Quilt Workshop for all but one of the quilts that I have made...it just works so well. And the whole process was made much easier this time because I upgraded my bias tape maker from this to this. What a world of difference it made!

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And, in the most exciting news of all...Nuku Nuku has started sitting on the pillow I made all the time! My efforts were not put to waste!

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Saturday, February 24, 2007

a little embroidery

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Well, I broke down and bought a little embroidery kit yesterday. Jon thinks that embroidery is just like sewing, so he doesn't consider taking this on as a new hobby, thus voiding my new year's resolution. I think I'll keep him around. This little project was a lot of fun and wasn't too tedious, so I think I'll be trying some more designs in the future.



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Jon had wanted me to make a soft pillow for the cats to sit on that could be placed in front of the large heating register in our living room. I couldn't find any patterned fleece that I liked, so I bought a solid color and did some embellishing with the stitch-it kit cat pattern from sublime stitching.



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Nuku Nuku sat on my lap while I stiched away, almost as if to say she was excited that I was actually making something for her for once!



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We were a pretty exciting couple last night. Not everyone can take joy in the noise of only a ticking clock while reading a book or embroidering a cat, but we sure did. We were so quiet last night that the cats took it upon themselves to stage an epic battle on my flat and smooth but not yet basted quilt. I woke up at 6:00 this morning to the sounds of their claws clicking along the floor, hissing, scampering paws up and down the stairs, and fabric being rolled and bunched into a tiny ball on the floor. Yikes! I was not a happy camper this morning and they knew to stay away from me while I re-pressed and basted the quilt this morning.



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At least they like sitting on something I've made. They still have yet to humor me by sitting on the pillow so that I could take a picture for this post.



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Friday, February 23, 2007

more progress

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Well, I finished sewing the top together. I've got to press it and trim the ends off before I baste it (ugh!) this weekend. Then on to the fun part...quilting is my favorite part of the whole process. It is so relaxing for me.



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Thursday, February 22, 2007

on craft overload!

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I am on total craft overload these days. I just keep seeing these cool projects that I want to make. My list keeps growing longer and longer and finally I had to stop myself. I came up with a list of things I have yet to finish (scarves, purses, quilts, stuffed animals) and really need to finish a lot of those up before I can even think of buying more supplies for new projects. The good news is that I have finally acquired a basic stash so I don't always need to run to the store to pick up things like straight pins or needles or pinking shears.



While I work on my list of things to finish here are some projects that are piquing my interest:



• ripple crochet afghan

Ever since I was a little kid, I have always wanted a closet full of blankets and afghans just like my grandma has. I think a multicolored afghan like this and this would be the perfect addition to my growing collection. Blankets are always nice to warm up under in cold Michigan winters.



• granny square afghan

I've been meaning to make one of these for at least 8 years. A girl I went to college with had the coolest afghan that her grandmother had made for her. All of the squares were bordered in black with multicolored centers. It was sweet and I want to make onejust like it.



• embroidery

Although my new year's resolution was not to pick up any more hobbies, I really want to learn how to do this. There are so many cute patterns out there and I want to try them out and incorporate them into a patchwork quilt somehow. Maybe I could use these patterns to make a japanese quilt (hoping to pick up some fabric for a quilt while we're in Tokyo...I've got the stores all scouted out).



• pincushions

I am totally loving these designs. I have pretty much everything I need to complete them, so maybe this or this could be a little interim project?



Tuesday, February 20, 2007

progress

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Well, I cut out all of the 198 squares for the brick road quilt last weekend and on Monday night I was able to arrange them in a pleasing manner. I knew our bedroom would come in handy for laying out quilts! It's got a huge sitting area that is currently unoccupied with furniture (except for a tv stand). It makes things a lot easier than using the only six feet by six feet of open floor space between our couch, wall, front door and dining area that I used to have to use in our old apartment. I hope to have the top all sewn together by this weekend.



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Monday, February 19, 2007

lazy sunday afternoon

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I'd be a happy girl if I got to spend every Sunday afternoon like we spent yesterday...reading a pile of magazines, drinking tea, napping, lounging around and baking these delicious blueberry muffins. We all enjoyed the chill afternoon.



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Saturday, February 17, 2007

shrinking cities

Jon and I and some friends went to the opening of the Shrinking Cities exhibit a few weekends ago. We started at the Cranbrook Art Museum and then headed down Woodward Avenue to the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit (MOCAD) for the second half of the exhibit. The exhibit chronicled the decline in population of four major cities around the world, including Detroit. I loved the Cranbrook portion of the exhibit...it did especially well showing how and why each cities lost so many people.



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MOCAD is super trendy and we definitely felt out of place with all of the hip scenesters at the opening night party/rave. But at least we weren't as out of place as the one eighty year old couple dressed to the nines, most likely coming from the Cranbrook portion of the exhibit - so cute. One especially annoying aspect about the exhibit was the font choice. All of the letters with circles (a,b,d,e,o,p,q) were blacked out and it was incredibly hard to read...I just gave up reading any of the descriptions and enjoyed the art instead.



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Here's some photos that Jon took at MOCAD. Who knew you take pictures at an art museum?



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The exhibit is open until April 1. If you're in the area, it's definitely worth the trip!



scallops and udon noodles

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We're still going strong on our meal planning system. Jon made this delicious recipe on Tuesday night. Unfortunately, our house still smells like fish today...the downfall to cooking seafood. This is definitely the last time we're cooking scallops in this house!



new project

Joann's was having a sale on cotton fabric this week, so I picked out a few different patterns and came up with this knitting needle case. I based it off of some similar cases that I had seen online here and here. As with all of my projects without a pattern, there was much trial and error with this project. I bet that if I actually thought things through and made a plan before cutting and sewing the fabric, I'd finish a lot sooner and have a better outcome, but planning takes too long when I'm in "the zone." Well, at least next time I'll know what to do differently!



Here is the final project.

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It's got 13 spots for needles each up to 15" long.

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The top folds over...

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then once it's rolled,

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there is a ribbon to tie it with in the middle.

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Friday, February 16, 2007

new quilt

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I was browsing online and found this pattern for a brick path quilt. I liked it because it's more of a patchwork quilt than a matchy matchy quilt and because it doesn't require sewing perfect corners because the bricks are staggered (accuracy is not my friend). I selected this assortment of blue and green prints at Joann's and hope to get it started on this weekend. Conveniently, this quilt should match our living room better than my first quilt does, so it has a place ready and waiting for it when it's completed.



Thursday, February 15, 2007

Valentine's Day

Jon's grandpa sent him a Valentine's Day card last weekend with a check and a note saying "take your Valentine out for dinner." His little gesture was so cute! We weren't planning on going out for dinner before getting the check, but ended up going to our favorite Japanese grocery store/sushi bar, Noble Fish. The sushi was delicious and inexpensive, as usual!





Rose



Jon got me this little rose arrangement and on the card he wrote "don't worry, I used my allowance to pay for this." Can you tell we're trying to budget better? He is always cracking me up. I'm pretty sure that I enjoyed his sentiment much more than the flower itself.



I made some heart shaped sugar cookies for Jon for Valentine's day and for Jen for her birthday. I had originally intended on pink hearts, but I forgot that I made Jen use all of my red food coloring at Christmas to get bright red frosting. Guess I should have stocked up on more food coloring! So, here they are green and teal Valentine hearts...



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Monday, February 12, 2007

reminisce

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This week last year Kate and I were in Jackson Hole, WY. I’ve been thinking about our trip all day. We had such a wonderful time that week and it was so much fun to hang out with one of my good college friends and discover a new place together. We got some skiing, snowshoeing, dog sledding, snowmobiling and elk watching in that week. I totally want to be a forest ranger after that vacation. Jon thinks I’m kidding, but there really is a part of me that would love to be outside all day taking in the sights and sounds. He claims there is no work there for him, but he can always telecommute, right?



We stayed at a little country inn/bed and breakfast and man am I craving those delicious gourmet breakfasts today. What a great way to wake up in the morning! We just had to walk downstairs and eat. Each morning we had a couple of choices for the main course and there was fresh homemade granola, homemade bread for toast, a fruit tray and lots of different fruit juices. I always thought that bed and breakfasts were really creepy…you know, the innkeeper in the room next to you and a communal bath. But, the Alpine house was nothing like that. Just really homey, with fires roaring all the time and fluffy and warm down comforters on all of the beds.



I’m going to have to find a way to display some of these pictures from the trip around our house…we’re slowly running out of wall space to display things.



Monday, February 5, 2007

omg

So, Saturday night, Jon and I were sitting in bed and we also happened to have some candles burning on our nightstands. Well, we're talking and then Jon points over to my side of the bed and tells me that something's burning.



I look over and see that the corner of our duvet is in flames and immediately I began to freak out. I jumped out of bed and started beating the duvet on the floor to dampen the flames, but it just made it worse. The Jon started beating the duvet with a pillow. He extinguished the fire and then told me: "omg, you totally have to blog about this. Go get your camera." Yes, he really did say the three letters, "o-m-g." So, here you have it. Post-fire bedding:



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We trimmed the burnt fabric off and washed the duvet and the comforter and I just finished sewing up the corner and everything is pretty much back to normal. Thank goodness for sewing machines because that duvet was just too pretty, too new and too expensive to toss after just two months of use!