Sunday, July 31, 2011


What's this stack? Well, it's an I-spy quilt in the making!

I learned about I-Spy quilts recently when a long time friend posted about one on her blog. (I actually didn't see this original post, I only found out she had a blog a few months ago. But she mentioned it recently.) I just loved this idea. The idea is that you make a quilt with a huge number of patterned fabric, then, you can play I-Spy with it, the Mom gets to sit on the couch, the kids on the floor racing to find the right fabric.

I don't have any kids, but I do have a bundle of nephews, a niece, and another one on the way. Surely one of them would love to play with this quilt. (I'm thinking maybe two somewhat, but not exactly, matching quilts for the twins? They never got quilts as babies.)

But how to get so many different fabrics? The same way I got all the yarn for my mitred square blanket (which has been set aside until the winter- too hot!) Ravelry swap! I started an "I Spy" swap, and now there are 2 groups of 12 spots, each of whom will send 12 5" squares in 5 different fabrics. At the end of this swap- I'll have 120 different fabrics (I bet there area few repeats). That's plenty to make a quilt, and maybe enough to do 2.

So which fabrics am I sending? Well, I'm in both of the groups, so I have to swap 10 different fabrics. Here are the ones I picked:

Also, I apologize. I can't hold my camera phone still to save my life.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Quilting Weekend!

So even though I had a ton of homework this weekend, I managed to fit in a quilting weekend.  (The quilting served as great procrastination yesterday as I wrote a paper, and even better today as I didn't get any work done at all on this week's assignments- oops.)

So I posted a while back about some fabric I bought for a quilt from Quilt Magazine.  I finally got some assembling done, and all the blocks are built and I just need to assemble now!  That is exciting.

I also am a "real quilter" now, as I finally got a large acrylic ruler.  My yardstick just wasn't doing it anymore for long strip cutting.  I also learned during my binding class that you really shouldn't rely on the measurements on your cutting mat, so this ruler is an exciting treat for me.  When I went to Joann's to get it, I also picked up some batting that I can use to practice free motion quilting (and it came with a small square ruler- exciting).  Because they were on sale I decided to get curved safety pins to try for basting- maybe I'll stop pricking myself so much.  And then I bought some Gutterman thread to try.  I hear it is a lot better than Coats & Clark...

I also got in a book I ordered a few days ago from Amazon, it was free with points, but I got it used and it was only a dollar and shipping, so about $5.  The book is about time saving quilting, and it is nothing revolutionary (though it may have been when it was published) using many of the strip piecing and flag-strip sewing techniques I've always used. There were a few new ideas in it (like wacking off the side of a unit block when set on the diagonal, rather than quilting individual pieces for those areas) and a few cut patterns.  More "traditional" than "modern" quilting, although a lot of modern quilting seems to just be color choice (lots of white!)

Finally, on Friday I stopped off at local quilt store.  The lady at the shop was fantastic, very nice, very helpful.  Many young quilters report that stores aren't welcoming, but this one was.  I didn't really look at the fabric prices, but found out that their long-arm "license" class is an even better deal than I thought.  Once you are "licensed" it is only $35 for 3 hours of use.  The sad thing is most of their classes are Wed. at 4, when I'm just leaving work, so that only leaves me their Sat. classes, which aren't very many to choose from.   I went in to find a marking pen, but she recommended NOT marking.  Instead, I bought a book she uses for one of their free motion quilting classes.  It is a tracing book (dry erase marker on transparency) of different meandering designs.  It's a neat little booklet, and more about all over designs.  (Most of my ideas of Freemotion Quilting come from Leah Day's awesome blog - and she mostly does filler designs.)

Now, I am putting together some quilt sandwiches to practice the free motion quilting.  Then I'll decide whether to FMQ my new top, or to just stitch in the ditch.  (I gotta say- I am LOVING it.  Every block I pick up and think "ooh, I love those colors")

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Chain piercing blocks

I am up early so I am sewing before skating. Either I don't cut accurately, sew accurately, or press accurately, but my pieces are not lining up well...  I dont think it will matter for this one.  Loving the colors!

Friday, July 22, 2011

Piecing commences

I bought this fabric quite some time ago and have had it cut for awhile. I finally found time to sew (a little).

Sewing upstairs with the iron downstairs is kind of a pain, but Kevin says I am too messy to bring more up here.

Off to do homework, and hopefully sew more later.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Invading the garage

The garage is Kevin's domain. His car, boat and tools. But, today I found a new use for his router table and work bench: warping for dishcloths.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

The Geek in Me?

By chance some friends of ours from Ohio were stopping in our town while moving from Colorado to Washington DC (ah- military life! Since Ohio, they've also lived in the mean time, Kevin has been separated and we've enjoyed the steadiness of Iowa life.)

After coming across on facebook that we live in this city (apparently it was a "Kevin lives in Iowa doesn't he? Checks facebook...hey same city!) They called to see if we wanted to get together. A chance to see old friends- of course!

So we planned to get together for dinner, and a little wayside trip. These are our "geeky" (kinda...) friends who introduced us to the awesomeness of games like Settlers of Catan and Munchkin and the like. They are apparently Star Trek fans. So we went to Riverside, Iowa- the future birthplace of Captain Kirk (well, depending on which storyline you follow, apparently).

My life long avoidance of all things Star Trek has ended. (I've done slightly worse on Star Wars- I actually own some of those movies, and I think I've seen all of them, or at least pieces.) I don't think I'll be getting a geek card anytime soon though. While looking up information on this place (which is really odd, btw- doesn't it kind of look like a grave?) I said "William Shatner played Captain Kirk? Really?"

Oh- and the dinner out. We had sushi and it was fantastic- though the wait for it to be made was LONG.