new quilt pattern

Having basically completed the QFM (quilt for me), I need a new project. I've started a quilt for my mother, which she knows about, but obviously I can't post pictures here of that project. I want it to be a surprise!
So now I'm doing math (which is not my strongest skill) to figure out how to make a stacked coins quilt. I am inspired by this quilt, but I've bought enough patterns lately and I want to figure out how to do it on my own. Wish me luck!


wip: quilt for me quilted!

see the heart?
 After a good four hours or so, the free-motion quilting on the QFM (quilt for me) is almostttt done. I just ran out of thread with a tiny section left, so that will have to wait until tomorrow. All that's left to do is attach the binding! By the end of the day tomorrow, my quilt should be done! How exciting is that?


cruising right along...

i <3 my family and it shows
Today I not only finished the quilt top, but made a pieced back (which I've never done before) and my own pieced binding (which I've never done before). Ha! I feel so accomplished. This quilt is coming together very quickly, and I'm very pleased. The bad luck I was having before seemed to have done away, thankfully, and it has been smooth sailing since about eleven this morning. I don't know that I've ever had a quilt come together so quickly - I don't know if it is the pattern of the quilt, the very helpful multi-step tutorial I'm following or if all my quilting skills have finally culminated in the power to speed through sewing and assembly. The only step that is still slow is pressing and ironing. I don't think there is any way to speed that up!

"quilt for me" quilt top done!

While being watched over by the observant and voyeuristic kittencat, I finished the quilt top for the "quilt for me" just now.  Not bad for a morning's work! Now I have to create the back (which might be a problem - I'm not confident that I have enough fabric) and the binding for the quilt. And then I can baste it together and get to the arduous task of quilting!


officially sick of this quilt...

a wip quilt that only a mother could love
... and I've only been working on it for a day! Nothing has gone right with this quilt from the minute I bought the (admittedly very cute) fabrics. The fabrics were cut wrong, I made cutting errors, sewing errors, the seams aren't matching up, there don't seem to be the right assortment of blocks which is impossible, I can't tweak the layout of the quilt because of the block limitations, etc etc. Hopefully it will be done soon and my next quilt will be free of such grievances! Good thing this quilt isn't for anyone - I would be pulling my (newly-cut) hair out in frustration if this were a gift.

quilting is a messy business...

My entire sewing room floor is covered in fabric right now. Do these fabrics look at all familiar? That's right, they belong to the "quilt for me"! Now that I'm finally done with all my Christmas gifts, I've returned to this project. It was like rediscovering a cool toy when you're a kid - I was ooh-ing and ahh-ing over all nine fabrics as I was assembling the rows. I'm very excited to finish this quilt, although I'm not entirely sure I will keep it when it's completed. I just love giving things that I make away to people I love.


completed christmas present four: canvas bag

see my label on the pocket? branding at its finest!
Remember this bag and this bag? Well, I made another one! My lovely mother-in-law requested a bag for Christmas, so I whipped one up using only materials I already had in the house. Luckily, I'm a fabric packrat and I had a yard of neutral canvas for the outside, a yard of pretty patterned cotton for the inside, a long red zipper and plenty of red thread. I love the red topstitching - it makes the bag more defined and professional-looking.
This bag is made basically the same as the others with a recessed top zipper and an outer slip pocket. It's big and roomy - perfect for the summer! When it comes, anyway...
I gave away the other two bags I made for Christmas also. Now I need to make one more for my sister, and then I might take a break from this bag for awhile!

completed christmas present three: blue bowl

filled with delicious chocolate
 When I was taking my pottery class, I made Adam a bowl. He always needs little bowls and things to collect all the miscellaneous stuff that he accumulates. His desk is decorated in black and blue, so I thought blue would be a good choice to show off the details of the bowl. I used another bowl to form the shape of my desired bowl, and gently pressed the clay down into the right shape. Then I took two different sizes of stamps with stylized representations of the B2, and stamped a whole flight of B2s. Then we fired it, I painted it with globs of blue glaze, fired it again, and voila! A gift for Adam.
It was actually the first present from me that he opened because we opened the smallest presents first. It's definitely my favorite thing that I made in the pottery class - and since it wasn't thrown on the wheel, it was also the least messy (and thus most enjoyable) item to make. Isn't it pretty?

b2s everywhere!


completed christmas presents two: etched ornaments

Remember the etched ornament I made for me and Adam? Well, I also picked up some for my mother and my sisters at the same time, and etched them as well. My mother gave us ornaments every year, and I'm trying to carry on that tradition. I added the year so that they will always remember when they got the ornament.
My mother got a dove, because she loves doves. My older sister got a more sophisticated, traditional ornament, and my younger sister got a funky star. Apparently the star caused a bit of controversy because I didn't say everyone was a star. But they all are! I love my family!

for my mother

for my older sister

for my younger sister

completed christmas presents one: cross-stitch portraits

for my mother

for my older sister

for my younger sister
For Christmas presents for my mother and my two sisters, I made cross-stitch portraits of us three girls. It was originally just going to be for my mother, but after I stitched up my sample one (not pictured), I decided it was so adorable that I had to make one for each of my sisters as well. I had the basic pattern custom-designed for me by Wee Little Stitches (and they were a pleasure to order from), but I altered the design each time I stitched it to change the outfits and colors and hair styles.
I ended up making four of these - starting with my sample, then my younger sister's, then my older sister's, then my mother's. My younger sister got "sisters" embroidered on hers as well, but I decided I didn't love it and didn't like doing it (I am bad at backstitching, which is weird) and so I didn't include it for the other two.
The one for my younger sister is stitched on linen and then stretched over a small 4x4 inch canvas, while the ones for my older sister and mother are stitched on 14-count Aida and framed. I love how they turned out, and I mastered french knots (at last!) in the process. Each cross-stitch took about five hours (more or less, sometimes more) to complete. Definitely worth it. One of these days I'm going to make a fifth one for myself.
Although my family is in Wisconsin for Christmas, I got to Skype with them while they opened their presents from me, which was great. All of them seemed to love the cross-stitches, which was wonderful and exactly the reaction I was hoping to get. Hopefully these cross-stitches will always remind them of our love for each other!

merry christmas

love, us


tree coasters version two

Adam and I like these red and green versions better. The printed fabric pops, and doesn't show through the dark colored fabric. I've been stitching around the design once after the whole coaster is assembled, but Adam suggested that I just leave it. I was following the tutorial, but I agree, the coaster is small enough that it doesn't require the security of the extra stitching, and the back looks better without it.

tree coasters

which do you like better?
This morning I woke up super early, as is apparently my habit now, and decided to make some tree cutout coasters. I had cut out a little stylized tree template out of leftover cardstock last night, and had cut out all the fabric pieces, so I was ready to go!
I don't love either of these, though. The one on the left is too strong looking, and the stripes on the one on the right show through the white fabric.
Back to the drawing board!


too cute

this is how Adam and Sassy started the movie...
... and this is how they ended it.

more coasters

I made a set of eight coasters! They sew up pretty quickly. The only thing I'm not loving about them is that the polka-dot fabric seems to be puffing up a bit. Any ideas why? I tried pinning in various ways to keep the fabric flat, but nothing seemed to work. This set is for me and Adam, so it doesn't much matter, but I'd like to avoid this issue in the future!

15-minute coaster

So after the great cookie baking endeavor of 2011, I've been thinking about (easier) mass Christmas presents for next year. I know, I'm thinking about it already. The cookies were tasty but exhausting, and I really want to do something more crafty for next year, and something that I can do in advance.
Christmas ornaments are always an option, but Adam hates the feeling of felt, so that might be a problem. Coasters, however, are awesome, useful, and he could help me with them.
I've found about a billion great tutorials, but started out with
this tutorial by The Sometimes Crafter - it was simple and quick. Perfect!
So, I present my very first coaster ever. What do you think? I found the black fabric and the batting as a remnants at good ole Wal-Mart (and I got huge amounts of both because Wal-Mart believes that anything under 2 yards is a remnant), and found the polka-dot fabric as a $0.97 fat quarter. So this coaster cost... like... zero cents, basically.

check out my sweet new black table

check out my sweet stemless wine glass

the kitten...

she's watching you

look at all that fur
I am so happy to have her back!

Today I learned...

that I enjoy chocolate-covered marshmallow peeps. I don't generally like marshmallows, but chocolate-covered ones taste like s'mores, and I am all about that. It also helps that these are especially delicious ones from a really good candy shop!


50 questions

delicious juice
Apple juice or orange juice? Orange, for sure. Apple juice looks like pee.

Are you a morning or night person? Definitely a night person, although I get tired easily and don't do well when I get tired... so really, I'm more of an afternoon/evening person.

Which do you prefer, sweet or salty foods? Sweet!

Ninjas or pirates? Pirates.

Ninjas vs pirates, discuss. Pirates - better outfit and accents!

Autobots or Decepticons? Autobots. Good over evil, every time.

What was your favorite childhood television program? Ooh, tricky. Ducktales springs to mind.

Are you a collector of anything? No, for awhile I collected little boxes, but not anymore. I collect fabric, though. And craft-related stuff.

If you could be any animal, what would you be? A short-hair domestic cat in a good home.

If you could have any superpower, what would it be? To walk through walls. Think of all the time you'd save!

What is usually your first thought when you wake up?  Where do I need to be! What time is it!

What do you usually think about right before falling asleep? What did I do wrong today.

What's your favorite color? Orange.

What's your favorite animal? Cat. Or meercat.

Do you believe in extraterrestrials or life on other planets? I'm agnostic on the issue - there is certainly a probability that life on other planets exists.

Do you believe in ghosts? Definitely not.

Ever been addicted to a video/computer game? No, although I've played WoW (and other games) extensively.

You're given 1 million dollars, what do you spend it on? House, funds for my (future) children, a new car for Adam,

Have any bad habits? Oh, I'm sure.

Which bad habits, if any, drive you crazy? Ripping my nails. It's a nervous (and bad) habit.

List 3 of your best personality traits: Conscientious, loyal, considerate.

List 3 of your worst personality traits: Anxious, insecure, worrier.

Have any celebrity crushes? ScarJo.

List 1 thing you wish you could change about yourself: Ew. I do wish that I didn't need to sleep so much.

Any tattoos or piercings? Yes. Most notably I have my left tragus pierced.

see the triangle?
What's the first thing you notice in the opposite sex? Smile. Adam's smile is triangular. One of the first things I noticed about him.

What personality traits do you look for in a partner? Trustworthy, close to his family, loyal, funny, silly.

What personality traits do you dislike in other people? Flaky, irresponsible, impulsive.

Are you mostly a clean or messy person? Clean but messy.

Do you see yourself getting married in the next 5 years? I see myself still married in the next five years.

If you could live anywhere in the world, where would you live? Back home, near Boston.

If you could visit anywhere in the world, where would you go? Sweden.

List 5 goals on your life's to-do list: 1) help change the world for the better, 2) have kids, 3) travel, 4) stay married, 5) be happy

Name 1 regret you have: Oh no.

Name 1 thing you miss about being a kid: Easy homework.

Name 1 thing you love about being an adult: Freedom.

What's your favorite song of the moment? Iron and Wine - Boy with a Coin

What's your favorite song of all time? The Verve - Bittersweet Symphony

What's your favorite thing to do on a Saturday night? Stay in and play games or watch a movie with Adam.

What's your favorite thing to do on a Sunday afternoon? Craft!

Have any hidden talents? I can dislocate a bone in my hand.

You're about to walk the green mile, what do you have as your last meal? Beef bourguignon on egg noodles with a glass of merlot.

What would be your dream job?  I don't really know yet, something that helps people.

Which would you rather have, 100 million dollars or true love? I already have true love, so I'll take the 100 million pleasekthanksbye.

If you could have 3 wishes granted, what would they be? 1) to have 2 children - a boy and a girl , 2) to have a boy before I have a girl, 3) to have my children be healthy.

Ever wish you were born the opposite sex? If so, why? Definitely not!

Name 1 thing not many people know about you: I used to live in a closet. A literal closet.

If you HAD to change your name, what would you change it to? Rose.

Do you believe in the afterlife? No. Life sucks, then you die.

On the topic of abortion, how do you feel about cookies? I am so-o sick of cookies you have no idea!

Well, ladies and gentlemen, that was fun for me. Hopefully it was fun to read as well!  
My mother and I started going through this list earlier today, but didn't finish. Now she will know all-l-l the answers. I'm sure she was dying of curiosity.

winter is coming...

this is an old photo - it's raining right now

Second Place

zip constricted the board; qadi got me a lot of points
Last night, in between bouts of baking massive amounts of cookies, Adam, my mother and I played three-way Scrabble. My mother is very very good at Scrabble, and she won by a million points. However, I came in second place, beating Adam by a pretty wide margin. Since that rarely happens, I was pretty pleased with second place, especially because I went into the game with the assumption that I would lose.
My Sassalass cuddled up on my lap - something she never does - at the very start of the game and stayed there until almost the end. It was so cute.


... to have my crazy, nuts, bizarre, beautiful, adorable, sweet, soft, lovable Assassination, Assassin, Sassy, Sassalass, Sassafras, Sassycat, kittencat back in my life.
And thankful to my wonderful mother for bringing her to me!


Sometimes I feel like this...

without the relief of actually crying


Obsessing over: 
Christmas. I have unfinished presents on my mind, along with ideas for gift-wrap. Not to mention the math for the eighty-billion cookies we're making tomorrow...

Working on:  
Finishing Christmas presents for my sister and my mother, cleaning my house, staying awake.

Thinking about:  
How much I have left to do!

My mummy visiting tomorrow! And bringing me my Assassionationcat! I can't wait!

Listening to:
Goyte (feat Kimbra) - Somebody That I Used to Know

Mocha Cappuccino instant hot chcolate mix. Mm-mm.

Adam was awake.
And that the Kansas City Airport was closer - I don't want to drive an hour-and-a-half to the airport tomorrow and then allll the way back!

I stole this little play-a-long from Katie Cupcake - if you haven't checked out her blog yet, do so! It's super cute. And makes me want to have kids.


Christmas Present Update!

In the interests of time and sanity, I simplified my Christmas craft to-do list awhile back. Now, with the big deadline fast approaching, I am left with three people/presents left to do! I hope to will get those completed this week, and then I will be all done!
After Christmas, be on the lookout for a bunch of posts displaying all my creations!


Etched Ornament

etched by me!
A few days ago, I had some spare time and wanted to do a quick little project. I had picked up this mirrored heart ornament at Michael's earlier with the intention of etching it. So I did.
I like ornaments that have the year on them, so that you remember when you got them, so I etched Adam's and my initials and the year on the ornament. I did it freehand and 'painted' the etching cream onto the ornament with a little paint brush. This means my result isn't as neat as it would have been if I'd used a stencil, but I didn't have any number stencils, so I had to do it freehand. Overall, I'm pleased with the result - it is personalized and cute. Adam liked it, which was important.