Won’t you be my neighbor

Mom and I are going to make a quilt for our neighbor’s daughter, Laura, who is graduating from high school this year. Her mom told us she likes black, white and pink, and she likes the Marilyn Monroe era. I have a ton of fabric options, so that won’t be a problem, but I’m having some trouble deciding on a pattern. I fooled around in EQ6 and came up with some possibilities. Any opinions?

Laura 1

Laura 1

Laura 2

Laura 2

Laura 3

Laura 3

Laura 4

Laura 4

Laura 5

Laura 5

Laura 6a - backing?

Laura 6a - backing?

Laura 6b - backing?

Laura 6b - backing?

Laura 7

Laura 7

Laura 8

Laura 8

Laura 9

Laura 9

Laura 10

Laura 10

Laura 11

Laura 11

Mini Quilts – spoilers!

Denise, if you’re reading, please stop now! A photo of your swap quilt is below.

So I finally finished the December STUD (Swap Til You Drop) mini quilt for Kim, but I couldn’t send it for a week because the one and only camera in the house was on vacation with my mom. I mean literally on vacation – on a Caribbean cruise. Without me. And we got another 14″ of snow and had a cold snap with several days where we didn’t go above 0 degrees. Farenheit. Our lowest daytime low was -20. (For all of you Celsius readers (all?!?) that’s -29 degrees. Add the wind chill, and it felt like -27 (that’s -33!). And I had to shovel. Remind me again why I live in Wisconsin?

Now that the camera is back and I’ve thawed a bit, I can finally post photos. The swap theme was Sweet, Sour or Savory. Originally I was going to do four yellow and brown pineapple log cabin blocks and call it Pineapple Upside Down Cake. I promised to send a recipe with it, and that’s a great one. I designed it in EQ6, colored it, and then worked 12 days in a row and couldn’t work on it.

pineapple-upside-down-cake

Next time I looked at the Flickr group, I saw three pineapple quilts, and that just wouldn’t do. Mom actually suggested the new pattern – Pickle Dish. Kim likes green and brown together, so I pulled a bunch of greens and wonderful dark brown marble, and came up with this:

Chocolate Covered Pickles

I’m calling it Chocolate Covered Pickles. Sounds scrumptious, hmmm? While I’m not too thrilled with the idea of chocolate covered pickles, I do occasionally eat peanut butter and dill pickle sandwiches. Still, I couldn’t send that recipe, so instead I printed off my two page monument to Chicken and Dumplings.

Meanwhile, I’ve been working on the next swap – January’s theme is Sing It, Watch It, Read It, so books, movies, music, etc. are the inspiration. I have a lot of sources of inspiration – figure 1,000 books, 800+ albums (CD, tape, or vinyl), and 200 movies. Still, I had a hard time coming up with something that I could translate into a quilt. Part of the problem is that I’m not a big applique fan (I like how it looks, I just don’t want to do it), so it couldn’t be anything that required literal replication. I settled on a poem by Edna St. Vincent Millay called First Fig:
My candle burns at both ends,
It will not last the night.
But ah, my foes, and oh, my friends
It gives a lovely light.

And this is what I’ve done for the quilt top:

First Fig

I still have to quilt it and that will be a challenge because there are a lot of seams. The finished quilt is about 12″ and each square is 1″.

I’ve received my quilt from my January swap partner already, and it’s inspired by the song Mockingbird (sung by James Taylor and Carly Simon). Oddly enough, I had seriously considered taking my quilt inspiration from the book To Kill a Mockingbird. Anyway, it’s the cutest little birdcage quilt:

STUD Mockingbird

I have two days off this weekend (well, Sunday and Monday), so I hope to finish it up and get it in the mail soon.

Pillowcases, purses, pickles and hippies

I made a few things for Christmas presents, including a pair of pillow cases for my grandmother and a purse for my sister-in-law. Then I forgot to take pictures. Drat. The pillow cases were super easy – I used the tutorial found here. I used a Moda silky woven for the body of the pillowcase, which made them unbelievably soft. It’s a nice tutorial, if a little wordy. Mom told me about sewing enclosed seams, so it looks much nicer than plain, unfinished seams. When you sew the side and bottom seam together, first sew a small (1/8″ – 1/4″) seam with the wrong sides together, then turn it inside out and sew a larger (1/4″ – 1/2″) seam with the right sides together. When you turn it right side out, the raw edges of the seam will be encased in fabric rather than exposed. Just be sure to make the second seam large enough that the edges of the fabric don’t poke through the second seam!

The bag I made for my sister-in-law was supposed to be a nice little dressy bag that she could take to her sister’s wedding/commitment ceremony. It wasn’t until yesterday that they realized that the ceremony has a hippie theme, and they’re supposed to dress accordingly. Tidy little black, white and red purse out – hippie costumes in. I dug through my fabric stash and found quite possibly the most hideous fabric ever printed. It is truly grotesque, and I bought five yards of it. In my defense, I only paid $3 for the whole thing at a fund raiser. I put together a quick vest for my brother, then used the same fabric to sew flare inserts into the outside seams of some old jeans. My sister in law found a top and skirt that worked, and I made another vest for her to finish it all off.

Bob the Hippie Rhonda the Hippie

As for the pickles – well, my December STUD (Swap Til You Drop) mini quilt isn’t finished. It’s started, at least, and Kimmie is very understanding about it. I can’t go into too much detail about the quilt because she might be reading. All I can tell you is the name comes from my color choices – greens, with some brown thrown in – and the fabrics look like this:

STUD December fabrics

Finally, here’s a photo of the package I sent to imagingermonkey for the STUD Secret Santa gift:

Secret Santa

The pillowcases are similar to the ones I made for my grandmother (except I hadn’t yet figured out the enclosed seam thing).

Brain Dump

I’ve really slowed down on posts in the past month or two, and I need to get back into the swing of it. It’s a combination of reasons, really. This blog is “supposed” to be a crafty blog, and I just haven’t been sewing much. When I do sew, I don’t seem to take photos. Also, I’ve been fighting the whole anxiety/depression thing again, mostly because of finances. Work – well, when I’m there, I don’t feel the anxiety, even when it gets a little crazy. There are so many good things about where I work, but the few things that make it difficult make it VERY difficult.

On top of the general stress at work, I smacked my head and knocked myself on my butt. Literally. I was helping someone get supplies from a weird little closet that has a door that’s only four feet high. On my way out I was distracted and didn’t bend down far enough, so I ran into the frame (actually, I hit a plastic thing that was mounted on the frame). I blinked, got a little fuzzy, and then slowly fell back and sat down hard. There was no blood, although I have three tiny little cuts on the top of my head from that broken plastic thing. No headache, blurred vision or sleepiness, so I kept working. My scalp stung for a while, but that was it. Two days before I slipped on some ice and fell down, so I’m already dealing with the consequences of that. It’s mostly gone – just the occasional ratchet from my spine when I turn and stretch. Still, I’m such a klutz.

Hmmm, I really did have some good things to write about. I think I’ll have to move that to another post…