Sunday, August 24, 2014

Jewelry post #2

Why do I always write jewerly? Every time...

Anyhow- I think I am addicted.  I made another necklace. And then matching earrings. And then a matching anklet.  I don't plan on wearing them all together, that would be just too much; but Kevin found these perfect turtle beads, and when I finished the necklace, I had three leftover, so I had to make a whole set!

The turtles and turquoise combination evoke wonderful memories of our many trips to Mexico. I'm very excited to wear these.

I'm really enjoying the wire-wrapping, and hope to try some new techniques soon. I had an idea to make another project from the Craftsy class, but then the wires for it would have been way too expensive, so I did this one instead. I think expense is what is going to prevent me from doing much jewelry. Since I don't buy it normally, I don't save anything by making it myself.  So far, these have all been inexpensive projects, but it could really add up.

Building Blocks Block 9: House Block

This was my favorite block so far. I was nervous about it- because it required a lot of precision to get all the pieces lined up, but it ended up coming out exactly the right size it was supposed to be. I felt very proud of my piecing skills.  Of course, there were no corners or points to line up.

Here are the 4 blocks:

And their backs to show off the quilting. There was quite a bit of travel stitching, especially on the roof lines.

And here is what the quilt is looking like so far! Just three more months of blocks to go. I may just go ahead and do them, I never watch the instructional videos anyway. Except the paper piecing and the curve (which I actually modified, since it wasn't meant to be a curved seam), there really wasn't a lot of skill building in this set for me. I don't regret doing it though- it still was good practice on making a lot of pieced blocks. I'm really starting to dread the part where I have to sew all these blocks together with binding strips!

Friday, August 22, 2014

New Hobby!

I signed up for the Craftsy class on wire wrap jewerly and am having so much fun.  I don't have very good supplies, as I'm trying to spend as little as possible, but I spent this week making a long necklace (I like to wrap them a few times) and some earrings. I have really practiced my wire wrapped loops, which is one of the main building blocks of this technique.
The class was a great value at $14.95.  My only issue with Craftsy is if you don't get the class when it is new, the instructors don't seem to answer questions anymore.  Whenever I have a new class, you hear back in like a day. It's been a few days, and I haven't heard anything from this instructor. But- if you just want to learn from the demos, she was amazing. Very clear, and repeated the basics to boost memory of important steps.
I didn't do any of the class projects (the earrings all seemed really heavy!) but I'm really happy with what I did make.  I think I might try to buy some better quality (but still not jewelry grade) metals and make more things!

Here's a close up:

If you do make jewelry- don't use cheap seed beads. Rather than pink plastic, they are coated clear plastic. And when it rained, half of the beads had their coating flake off!

Friday, August 8, 2014

Building Blocks Quilt Along: Block 8

This block was a paper pieced spinning squares pattern.  I have to say, I don't like paper piecing.  Although maybe it would have been easier if I cut the fabric rectangles as advised by the pattern and not tried to use scraps; but I know my fabric may run short on this project so I wanted to use up some of the scraps (coming soon: awesome scrap project, BTW.  I've done some more collages...)

So here are the 4 blocks.

This block was supposed to just be all over stippling, and that sounded boring. I just got a new magnifying glass so I decided to make up a new design to test it out.  What I learned 1) the magnifying glass does help me have better posture, as I don't crane to see the block but 2) you can only see what is in the glass, and that kinda sucks.  However, in interest of my posture, I'm going to keep using it.

So here's my design. As always, I like the back more than the front.

 This project has really expanded my ability with straight lines, but I'm still not fabulous. For some reason, my piecing on this block as coming apart a bit, so I added an extra line on the inner pink triangles that is basically holding the piecing together. Oops. Clearly I have something to learn about paper piecing...

 This was the most fun design. Super easy. I probably should have modified this too, but it wasn't just straight stippling, the pattern was fun.

 This was the most challenging design. My circles look more like lumps.  I don't think it looks that bad though.

And here is the progress on the whole quilt.  I have the houses pieced and 3 quilted already.  I'm just now starting to think about how daunting the connecting strips are going to be. This is a lot of blocks!