Wednesday, June 29, 2011

New toy...

I got new skates so Kevin had to one up me. We are calling this his 30th birthday present. He is thrilled, and it is a hybrid, so I'm happy.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Some quilting...

Quilting is something that I've liked to do for awhile. I like piecework, and have done some more complicated things, but I tend to go with simple. I like for quilting to be a quick finish, so I stick with mostly baby quilts with rectangles and triangles. (I also stick to baby quilts because quilting anything bigger is really tough!)

One thing I'm not very good at is binding. I always cheat. So I signed up for a binding class at Home Ec Workshop. It's still kind of cheater binding, because it's all on the machine, but I figure it will look more polished than what I normally do.

For the class, you have to bring something small to try to bind. So I made a placemat out of scraps. These scraps are from the quilt I am actually making- well, was going to make until this new session of classes started and I realized two at a time was insane. It will have to wait.I made this one and just did straight line quilting. In the ditch, and then Xs onto each of the different squares. I did a bunch of various sizes, but there wasn't as much variation as I hoped for.
This is the back of the colorful one. Kevin told me it was a little too "out there" so I made another one, with more basic colors. I did two things wrong: first it is still a bit too "out there". Second, I decided to try free motion quilting for the first time!

You'll notice the "crop" of it is a little odd- the top row is super skinny- I'll explain why later. The free motion quilting was REALLY hard. For those that don't know, when you do that you set the stitch length to zero and put down the feed dogs. This has two results 1) the machine just runs away- it is very hard to control and 2)you control the stitch length by moving the fabric. It was very difficult to figure out how to move it, I was either too slow and the stitches were way too long, or too fast and it looked wonky. You have to also make it go with the speed of your needle. I thought a slower needle would be better, but while it was harder to control, the faster needle speed looks better.
IU had just planned on going up and down the rows, but then I got a little more wild overlapping into the other rows, going back on it. One quilting rule is supposed to be not to overlap threads. I accidentally did, but thankfully there was no Ghostbuster's style "crossing the beams" incident. I think it looks pretty good for a first try.
This is why the crop is wonky. I quilted more than I needed so I could square the edges. I was going to take a little off each side, but in the end I decided to try to free motion sign my name. I thought I did pretty well, so I didn't want to cut it off- so I had to take it mostly off the top.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Camping Weekend...sort of


Kevin and I really like to camp, but we haven't gone in a long time. First, with preperations for my skating competition, I couldn't give up a Saturday (when my lessons are). Then, I'm just super busy with school, and a lot of that work takes place on the weekend. My first summer session ended Friday, and the new one didn't start until today, so I had a weekend off. I canceled my lesson and we headed out to Lake Macbride to go camping.

I'm not sure you can call it a success, but it wasn't a failure either.

Last year, Kevin bought a dutch oven. And we never used it. We still haven't. We packed it up,ready to make cobbler, our plan for Friday night, but when we got out there Friday night, we were tired (I had stayed up super late on Thursday finishing a paper that was due Friday night, but I wouldn't be around to submit) and hungry (it took us longer to pack up than I was expecting) so I mentioned we should just have our (incredibly yummy fajitas) and make s'mores. Dinner was delicious, and then I went to bed while Kevin played with the camera.

Here is where the fail comes in: Lake MacBride apparently does not have ANY flat campsites. Our campsite was quite sloped, which is fine, just point the feet down the hill. Well, it turns out it was really sloped in two directions. It was impossible to sleep without falling into the corner of the tent, because you'd roll both sidesways, and slide down. Additionally, we need to work out a better cushioning system now that we are old. It was not a comfortable night.

Now, when camping, you always wake up earlier than normal- usually at first sunlight. Nope, Kevin and I were both awake at 4:00. Absolutely ridiculous, but it turned into a blessing in disugise. We went on a walk, came back, Kevin had breakfast while I tried to sleep some more (I was still full from dinner! I've been doing shakes for meals, so having real food really filled me up!) Then Kevin went kayaking while I played with the dog, and then we took a nice little hike along the road into the camp. He said the kayaking was nice, but there isn't much to see along the lake, or hiking (there were people fishing everywhere!)

Well, around lunchtime (chili dogs) it started to rain. It had been cold and dreary all day, and the rain was just another annoyance. Kevin and I discussed it and we decided the weekends are short enough- except making cobbler we had done most everything we came out to do (kayak, eat, hike) and since it wasn't a Scout trip with a purpose there was no reason to sit all day in the rain. We packed it up and went home :(

So Saturday night was spent doing laundry, a little bit of sewing (another placemat- I need to quilt it for my class on Thursday), and watching Saved By the Bell (Season 3 and 4 on DVD- love it!). Sunday I spent getting a head start on my classes (I'm taking two- it's going to be killer!) and I went and picked up my new skates (very nervous about trying them out...)

Of course, Sunday was a LOVELY day, would have been nice to have it while camping (although the thunderstorms were awful at night, so that would NOT have been good).

And now, it will be at least 8 weeks before I can go camping again... taking two classes at a time is going to be rough.
Oh, and we did have the cobbler when we got home: and it was SO good. But we still haven't used the Dutch Oven.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Thanks work!

Spending the night at the ballpark courtsey of work. I'm cheering for Wisconsin because they are in maroon, . They were doing really well, but the kernels are making a comeback.

Kevin is spending the game working on his sports photography (this photo is NOT his) and I am enjoying popcorn and missing Aggie baseball, which is way more fun and interactive.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011


One of the great things about the internet is meeting other people with similar interests. For me, this means a lot of time on revelry, skatingforums and twop.

A knitpicks group.on revelry did a "rehome your stash" swap, and my swapper spoiled me. It sounds like the bare yarn and the dye is rehomed but the rest seems brand new! For my part, I passed on about 14 skeins of yarn I bought for melting but probably won't have ever gotten too and about a pound of merino roving! I hope the person. who got my stuff likes it as much as I liked the package I received.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Freeskate Dress

So this was Another weekend filled with glueing rhinestones. This one for. My freeskate program. My intention was to really bling up the red dress and do this one lighter, but apparently I spaced them too far apart on the red dress because the opposite happened. This one has about twice as many stones.

There was no clear way too adorn this dress like the red one, so I did a lot of sparkle on the straps, and then random outlining of the curves of the flowers. My coach had suggested i outline one or.two flowers but it looked weird and fought with the velvet design so I did this instead.

It looks kind of goofy up close, but when I take off my glasses and its a bit blurry, it just adds all over sparkle, so i'm hoping that is how it will translate from a distance.

Competition is this weekend! Then onto quilting! (except next month I am taking two graduate classes, so I will have even less crafting time.)

Friday, June 3, 2011

All Finished (I think)

I usually keep skating updates at my other blog, but this one was crafty, so I thought I'd add it here.

I bought this dress from You can see the front and back "before" views at their website. I got the stones from their prices were the lowest I found for 10 gross. (I went with Preciosa instead of Swarvoski, as some people say they actually sparkle better from a distance, and well, they are a little bit cheaper. Having seen them side by side with the Swarvoski ones I had from something else (just one or two) I will tell you I can't tell the difference. A warning about Beadsfactory- their shipping is absurd, although, even still the rhinestones were the cheapest I could find, just beware.

I did also order a test cross from an ebay seller that were represented as "crystal, a good substitute for Swarvoski" and while Kevin never took them to the lab to test them, they look like plastic, so I'm glad I didn't go with that avenue- although those were cheap.

I used Crystal AB 20ss, and as I said, ordered 10 gross, although it turns out I would have been fine with 5 gross (I used just under 3 gross for this dress, and wanted some for another dress), so since BeadsFactory only sell by 10 gross, I spent more than I had to. But- who doesn't need rhinestones! I see lots of sparkly decorating in my future.

Doing these dresses took a weekend, as I had to wait for the back to dry overnight to do the front. It was super easy- about 1/3 of a bottle of E6000 and 19 toothpicks were used. There are a few stones where the glueing is a bit wonky, but from a distance they all look good.